Workers in NSW are the latest to qualify for paid pandemic leave, as the state recorded its first COVID-19 death in more than a month.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the $1500 payment on Sunday under a deal struck with the federal government.
Workers can now apply for the payment if they cannot earn an income while self-isolating, quarantining or caring for someone with COVID-19.
The pandemic leave scheme was previously only available to states where a state of emergency was in effect, but the criteria has since been relaxed.
Unions NSW welcome the decision but labelled it “overdue”.
“No worker should ever have to chose between their health and their livelihood, a point we first made to the premier months ago,” Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey said.
The announcement came as NSW recorded its first death from coronavirus since August 16.
The fatality, a man in his 70s, died at Royal North Shore Hospital on Saturday and took the state’s death toll to 55.
There were just two new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, one in hotel quarantine.
The other is a taxi driver who tested positive on Saturday and NSW Health says anyone who entered his vehicle between September 8 and 18 should monitor for symptoms.
His taxi trips during that time spanned the suburbs of Moorebank, Bankstown, Chipping Norton, Liverpool, Lidcombe, Warwick Farm and Milperra.
Early investigations indicate the driver likely contracted the virus at Liverpool Hospital. He had the COVIDSafe app which is being used to identify contacts.
NSW Health is also working with the driver and 13CABS to identify passengers.
The cabbie also stopped at several places for food during this period, meaning all people in those locations at certain times are also considered close contacts.