The Victorian Government says it will extend the COVID-19 worker support payment to make sure Victorians don’t have to choose between the safety of their workmates and community, and putting food on the table.
“To fight this virus we need every Victorian who is sick to get tested and then stay home. If you are waiting for a test, you must stay home until you are notified of your result,” said Premier Daniel Andrews.
“We know that having to isolate can mean missing work – and no one should be making the choice between their health and putting food on the table – that’s why we’re making sure those who need our support can get it.”
He said Department of Health and Human Services data showed that as many as nine out of 10 people who later test positive for COVID-19 were not self-isolating between the onset of symptoms and being tested.
“In addition, 53 per cent of positive cases did not isolate between being tested and receiving their results.”
“We know too many Victorians are in insecure work, don’t have sick leave entitlements and can’t afford to miss a shift. That’s why our current worker support payment recognises that the requirement to self-isolate or quarantine can leave workers and their families struggling to make ends meet, forgoing an income while they’re following health advice.”
The Premier said that under the scheme, a one-off payment of $1,500 was available to workers who were unable to work during their isolation, had no income during this period, and were not entitled to any paid sick leave, special pandemic leave or other income support.
He said the Government would now extend the scheme to ensure that as soon as a person was tested, they would be eligible for a $300 support payment from the Victorian Government – as long as they met the eligibility of the existing scheme.
“This will ensure workers don’t have to pay the price for following health advice while they are waiting for their results – meaning they can afford to isolate immediately and avoid spreading the virus further through workplaces,” said Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos
“Victoria has one of the highest testing rates in the world and we’re making it easier than ever to get tested for coronavirus with new testing sites being established every week right across the state.”
There are currently more than 160 places you can get tested at across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria – including health services, GPs, drive-throughs and mobile pop-up sites.
For more information about coronavirus call 1800 675 398 or visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.