As you’ve probably heard, construction sites across the Greater Sydney region are now closed till at least July 30th. The NSW government has implemented this legislation in an attempt to help supress the spread of COVID-19.
The decision is a divisive one and many within the building industry are despairing at the news. Just as with all of the unprecedented government health orders we’ve faced throughout the pandemic, there is an undoubtable cost, both for individual workers and the economy. However, there are a few silver linings to note.
Fortunately, financial safety nets have been put in place by the government to help affected workers.
Depending on your individual circumstances, it’s worth investigating which payments you might be entitled to receive. For instance:
- Government Payments
Check Service NSW to see which of the following you might be applicable for:
– COVID-19 Disaster Payment
– Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
– COVID-19 Business Grant
– Micro Business Grant
– Other government benefits
– It’s also possible that you have a pre-existing insurance policy that could be helpful at this time, such as income protection. Be sure to contact your insurer directly if you are unsure.
An enforced break
Prior to the pandemic, the government had invested heavily in road, rail and energy projects. A number of big projects were brought forward to stimulate the economy.
This is obviously a net positive for the industry in the long term, but in the short term, creating a large influx of work with tight time pressures can lead to stretched and fatigued workers.
It’s rare for an industry to have an enforced shut down that is also fiscally supported. As we’ve seen with JobKeeper, governmental financial support goes a long way towards ensuring people and businesses can successfully weather difficult moments like this.
We would all prefer to take a break at a time of our own choosing, but perhaps this forced pause is the breather many in the industry need. It might provide a chance for workers to take a mental health break and recharge their batteries.
Short term pain, long term gain
Above everything, it’s important to remember that our health professionals wouldn’t have recommended this shutdown if they didn’t deem it absolutely necessary. Construction sites are a risky setting when there’s an outbreak.
If the construction industry and we as a society can closely follow the restrictions over the next fortnight, then the industry will no doubt bounce back strongly. After all, the work isn’t going anywhere and all of the paused projects will still be there when restrictions lift