Many workers in Australia are on temporary work visas, including approximately 77,000 in the cleaning industry. If they lose their job in the cleaning industry or any other industry because of the effects of COVID-19, they will be in an extremely precarious financial position. Most cleaners are low-paid workers, living pay cheque to pay cheque. They may have poor access to healthcare, be unable to access income support and therefore be unable to meet the costs of their daily living expenses.
Support for migrant workers during COVID-19
Are you in Australia on a temporary work visa and face financial hardship?
There is support out there for you!
The federal, state and territory governments have now set up financial and other support for migrants which are listed below.
You may be eligible for financial support from the federal government if you or your family are affected by COVID-19. All workers with an eligible working visa, including migrant workers on temporary visas, in all states across Australia, can now access these disaster payments. To apply, visit the Services Australia website or phone 180 22 66.
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a lump sum payment to help workers unable to earn income due to a COVID-19 lockdown, hotspot or period of restricted movement in all states and territories in Australia.
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is available if you can’t earn an income because you’ve been asked by health officials to self-isolate or quarantine, or are caring for someone with COVID-19.
New South Wales
- The NSW government has information about financial and other support available to people affected by COVID-19
- Study NSW has links to non-financial supports available to international students in NSW
- United Workers Union has important information available on the COVID-19 lockdown, testing and your rights at work in NSW
- UnionsNSW has a list of resources for migrant workers in NSW
- The Victorian government has information about financial and other support available to people affected by COVID-19
- If you live in Victoria and need to get tested for COVID-19 and isolate, you may be eligible for financial support from the government ($450 Coronavirus Test Isolation Payment).
- Study Melbourne has created a series of information, links and resources aimed at supporting international students during COVID- 19.
- The ACT government has COVID-19 information and advice available for those living in the ACT
- The QLD government has COVID-19 information and advice available for those living in the QLD
- Study Queensland has information on student supports available, including financial assistance and a state-wide student hotline that operates 24 hours/7 days per week: 1800 778 839
- The SA government has information about financial and other support available to people affected by COVID-19
- StudyAdelaide has information on COVID-19 Health Advice and student supports available, including financial and emergency assistance
- The NT government has COVID-19 information and advice available for those living in the NT
- The NT government’s Worker and Wellbeing Fund is for people who are not already receiving support through Centrelink, and includes temporary visa holders. The fund is administered by the Red Cross, contact on +61 403 987 018
- The WA government has COVID-19 information and advice available for those living in WA
- StudyPerth has a list of resources and COVID-19 information for students in Perth
The Tasmanian government has COVID-19 information and advice available for those living in Tasmania
All workers, regardless of their visa status, can get tested and vaccinated for free.
You may be eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine now. For more information, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website, click here for translated resources, call 1800 020 080 or speak to your local doctor.
For information about where to get a free COVID-19 test, visit your state or territory’s website:
Need more info?
The cleaners’ union United Workers Union has put together a list of resources and information for migrant and other workers here.
We hope that this information is useful to you. Information current as of 22 July 2021.