Pandemic leave payment for Victorian workers

Victorian workers who need to self-isolate but have no sick leave left will be able to access a $1500 pandemic leave payment.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the payment on Monday, a day he described as “heartbreaking for Victorians”.

Shortly beforehand, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews revealed a number of industries would be shut-down as part of Stage 4 restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.

The $1500 payment is available to Victorian workers who have to self-isolate for 14 days and have run out of sick leave or do not get any payments through JobKeeper.

“What we’re dealing with here is a disaster and we need to respond on the basis of the way we provide support in the midst of disasters,” Mr Morrison said.

“This pandemic is a disaster and we need a disaster payment when it comes for people who have to isolate for a period of 14 days through no fault of their own, regardless of what job they’re in or employment they’re in.

“They need that support.”

Workers can access the payment multiple times, if they’re required to self-isolate more than once.

The payment is in addition to the existing $300 payment the Victorian government has made available for those awaiting COVID-19 test results.

Mr Morrison said the payment would be made in the same way as Disaster Recovery Payments.

To apply, workers need to phone 180-22-66. The phone number will be active from Wednesday.

“That means that those who need to self-isolate as a result of an instruction by a public health officer, there is no economic reason for you to go to work,” Mr Morrison said.