COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment

The COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay their employees who cannot work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result.

Information

The COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment is paid at a new rate of $359, effective from 24 August 2021.

The Short-Term Absence Payment is available from 9 February 2021. It’s to help businesses keep paying eligible employees who:

  • cannot work from home, and
  • need to miss work to stay home while waiting for a COVID-19 test result (in line with public health guidance).

There’s a one-off payment of $359 for each eligible worker. You can only apply for it once, for each eligible employee, in any 30-day period (unless a health official or doctor tells the employee to get another test).

It’s also available to self-employed people.

Anyone who is unwell should call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or talk to their doctor or health provider. Businesses should encourage their employees to do this if they're unwell.

We also have the Leave Support Scheme available to employers. You cannot get more than one COVID-19 payment for the same employee at the same time from us.

Important information