Frequently asked questions
Our Member Services Team 1300 344 249
We appreciate many businesses will be experiencing financial hardship during these unprecedented times. Therefore, should you have any hardship concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our Member Services Team to discuss your options. We will attempt to assist you as best we can in consideration of your circumstances.
Severance contributions may be waived
Should a workplace be shut down due to COVID-19 coronavirus, severance contributions will not be payable during this time, where workers retain their employment but cannot attend work. This may be subject to any conditions specific to your EBA.
You must continue paying premiums
In order for the insurance policy to continue to provide insurance coverage for employees in the event they become sick or injured while stood down from work, it is important that employers continue to pay their insurance contributions.
We appreciate many businesses will be experiencing financial hardship during these unprecedented times. Therefore, should you have concerns regarding the payment of your contributions, please do not hesitate to contact our Employer Relations Manager via email email@example.com to discuss your options. We will attempt to assist you as best we can in consideration of your circumstances.
The date of shut down & employment status of workers
If shutting down is inevitable, please advise us of the shut down date via email firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can adjust your account as applicable. For example, removing the severance contribution obligation.
If you are in a position where you must let staff go, please terminate them from your online Protect account on the day of termination. This will expedite payments to workers in a difficult time.
Workers may be eligible for a hardship payment
To help counter the financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 Coronavirus, Protect has been granted approval by the Tax Office to make a hardship payment to workers from their account balance in the event that they are stood down without pay and are not relying on other forms of payment (annual leave or long service leave), and they remain employed. Where a worker is terminated and is unemployed, a termination or redundancy payment would apply.
Hardship payments are available from 27 March, 2020. Workers can complete the hardship application form on the Protect website.
The policy does not contain any exclusions related to a pandemic
The Protect Injury & Sickness Policy (the Policy) provides income support for financial members who are declared unfit for work by a medical practitioner due to a covered injury or illness.
The Policy does not contain any exclusions, provisions or limitations specifically related to a pandemic virus that you might find in other insurance policies. Generally speaking, if a Protect member were to contract the virus and became unable to work as a result then it is likely that the Policy will be able to assist, even if symptoms are mild.
As is the case with all claims, we will require medical evidence to confirm the diagnosis. Claims for COVID-19 will require a copy of positive test results. This documentation can be obtained from the doctor/clinic/hospital that conducted the test(s).
Claims should be submitted via email or fax
Please note: all claims are subject to a waiting period of typically 14 or 30 days where no benefits are payable.
If a member is unsure if a claim will be covered, we suggest submitting a claim for consideration. Our focus is always to assist where we can.
To protect our staff, we ask that where possible, all claims be submitted to our office via email to email@example.com or fax to 03 9867 5540. Please do not advise workers to attend the ATC or Protect office to drop off paperwork or post paperwork if they have, or suspect they may have, COVID-19.
Check with the ATO
It is unlikely that workers will be able to claim the JobKeeper allowance whilst receiving their full entitlements from their income protection insurance however we advise that you follow up this query with the Australian Taxation Office.
The policy applies to those who are sick or injured
Income protection covers instances where a member can’t work because they’re sick or injured. If you are shutting down, or reducing your hours, the Policy is unfortunately unable to assist workers because in these circumstances they're not sick or injured.
We are making a staggered return to the office
Government measures to control the spread of COVID-19 required us to close our office and work remotely for approximately nine months. However, on Monday 30 November 2020 we began the transition to return to the office operating COVIDSafe principles. There is now a skeleton staff onsite however, before visiting we request that you call to make an appointment so that we can make ourselves available to best assist you.
Free confidential counselling 1300 725 881
During this time of concern for health, employment and finances, employer and worker members are reminded that you have access to Protect's independent free counselling service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Face to face sessions have ceased for the time being however phone and online services are running.