NZ allocates new Covid-19 payment to back businesses


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New Zealand employers can receive government payments from Tuesday onwards over the absence of their workers who cannot work from home while awaiting a Covid-19 test result, according to a government statement issued on Monday.

The Short-Term Absence Payment (STAP), a part of the government's Business Support Package, reinforces its commitment to helping businesses and their employees navigate the pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency.

"Business has a key role to play in helping New Zealand navigate the Covid-19 pandemic," Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said in the statement.

"Testing for Covid-19 remains a critical ongoing element in our elimination strategy. We need people to take the test if they feel unwell and removing any barriers is important," Sepuloni said.

From Tuesday, the affected businesses can contact the ministry and apply for a one-off NZ$350($252) payment per head for such employees, according to her.

"This payment will help reduce financial pressure on businesses and encourage them to continue their valuable role in keeping COVID-19 in check," the Minister said.

The STAP program also covers household contacts or secondary contacts who stay at home in line with public health guidance while waiting for a close contact to get a test result, she added.

Source: IANS

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