COVID-19 Short Term Absence Payment

On 8 February 2020 the Government announced a new COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment (STAP) to support employers and self-employed workers.

(Extract of overview below is from business.govt)

Generally speaking:

This could be to cover people who may or may not have any remaining sick leave and is to provide financial support to the business and the employee.

This can apply to eligible workers that must stay at home while waiting for a test result.

In detail:

The STAP is available from 9 February 2020, through Work and Income, to employers for employees, and self-employed workers, who:

There’s a one-off payment of $350 for each eligible employee/worker. You can only apply for it once, for each eligible employee/worker, in any 30-day period (unless a health official or doctor tells the worker to get another test).

This now includes people who are sick with COVID-19 'like' symptoms who meet the Ministry of Health’s ‘higher index of suspicion’ criteria, as well as health and disability support and aged-care workers who were self-isolating while waiting for a COVID-19 test result.

Key points if paying staff:

  1. should try to pay your worker as if they had worked that day, or
  2. where this is not possible, you must pay at least the full amount of the Short-Term Absence Payment through the PAYE system to the employee while they are waiting for the relevant test.

Applying for the Short-Term Absence payment:


Further info:

If an employee/worker returns a positive COVID-19 test, you can apply for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme to help pay their wages.


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