Covid 19 coronavirus: New virus-testing subsidy a ‘reassurance’ for workers, says business

A Government subsidy that pays people awaiting a Covid test gives assurance to both workers and their employers, says a Wellington-based coffee roastery.

This week the new subsidy kicked in, allowing employers to claim $350 to pay a worker waiting for a coronavirus test if they are unable to work from home.

Mojo Coffee general manager Katy Ellis said they had been clear with employees about staying home if waiting for Covid test results, which had happened a few times around the periods of recent outbreaks.

She said the new payment, which was announced in December, backed up their message.

“It just gives them the reassurance that if they’re waiting for a test result that they can stay at home and be 100 per cent sure they’re getting paid,” she said.

“We’ve been very clear with our guys that anyone who’s off waiting for a test obviously stays at home.

“And we’re happy the Government are giving us some additional support to really back that message up and make sure nobody is unsure about that.”

She said it also appeared it would be clear and straightforward to apply for the $350.

The Wellington hospitality industry was still suffering from the effects of Covid, she said, particularly in the city centre.

If they weren’t unwell, she encouraged people to return to work in the CBD and support local hospitality businesses.

“Anything that helps hospitality to get back on its feet is obviously going to be a plus for us,” she said.

“Hospitality still needs a lot of support and help, it’s been through a pretty tough time. We’re very much in the CBD where we know we’re still impacted very heavily by people not returning to work as they were pre-Covid.”

“We’re obviously keen that Government continues to encourage that.”

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