Cash support for eligible NSW council employees

By Melissa Coade

Tuesday August 17, 2021

NSW Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock
NSW Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

Financial support of $1,500 a fortnight for local government employees impacted by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions has been announced by the NSW state government.

Local government minister Shelly Hancock issued a statement on Friday announcing that the cash support for local council employees would be made available under a job retention allowance that had been established in 2020.

According to Hancock, last year the scheme protected a significant number of jobs in metropolitan and regional local government.

“The job retention allowance provides $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for up to three months to help councils retain staff whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak,” Hancock said.

“Commonwealth government assistance is not available to local councils, therefore it is important the NSW government steps in to provide this nation-leading support package,” she added.

Measures  taken by local councils to retrain and redeploy affected staff to other areas of need was an important part of the scheme last year. The minister encouraged councils in NSW to consider doing the same again.

“There is no doubt that we need to remain adaptable to the volatile environment in which we find ourselves because of the evolving COVID-19 outbreak in NSW and that’s why we are once again putting in place the job retention allowance to ensure financial support can be accessed by councils that need it most,” Hancock said. 

To be eligible for the scheme, councils must be able to demonstrate an actual or potential loss of at least 30% in revenue for the current or previous quarter in a business unit or entity. Councils also need to be a partner to the Splinter Award or equivalent agreement, have paid eligible employees four weeks paid COVID-19 special leave, and entered into a funding agreement with the Office for Local Government.

Submissions for claims for the NSW job retention allowance are now being accepted by the state government.

“Local councils across NSW are at the frontline assisting their communities respond to the challenges COVID-19 is presenting.

“The NSW government recognises their commendable work, and will support local council employees so that they can continue to serve our communities,” Hancock said.


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