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NZ allocates new Covid-19 payment to back businesses

IANS | February 08, 2021 07:29 PM

WELLINGTON: 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.

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