Visit our COVID-19 page for information and advice on the assistance available for NSW residents and businesses

Bushfire smoke

As a worker, you have obligations under WHS legislation. If you have any concerns about bushfire smoke, you should raise them with your manager or WHS representative.

If you're not satisfied with the response, call SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50 or raise your concerns via SafeWork's Speak Up platform.

Commonwealth Government Disaster Recovery Allowance

This short term income assistance is available for people who have been severely affected by the bushfires. It's payable for a maximum of 13 weeks from the date your income ceased because of the fires.

Call Services Australia on 180 22 66.


You may be entitled to flexible working arrangements, leave entitlements and pay during the time you are not able to work due to bushfires or smoke.

Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman or call the Small Business Helpline on 13 13 94, then select option 3.

Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG)

The Australian Government provides financial assistance to cover certain unpaid employment entitlements to eligible employees who lose their job due to the liquidation or bankruptcy of their employer.

If you're an FEG claimant and are unable to provide the necessary documents to complete your claim due to their loss or destruction in the bushfires, call 1300 135 040.

Insurance matters

SIRA is working with all NSW workers compensation insurers. Their priority and expectation of insurers is that people receive their entitlements, and can access treatment and support when they need it.

The Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) will help you if you're a worker and unable to resolve an issue with your insurer. Call them on 13 94 76, or email


Free mental health workplace courses

The Black Dog Institute is offering free training for employees, to learn how to proactively manage mental health at work.

Visit SafeWork NSW to find out more about the employee training course.

Support for job seekers

Job seekers in fire-affected areas are not required to meet any mutual obligation requirements until Friday 6 March 2020. The suspension of requirements is automatic.

If you're a job seeker located outside the bushfire-affected regions and have been impacted by the crisis (e.g. volunteering as a firefighter/SES or caring for family members who have lost their homes) contact Centrelink to seek an exemption from your requirements. Exemptions can be granted for an initial period of up to 13 weeks.

Training Services NSW

If you’re an apprentice in an affected area who has had to stop working, you'll still be able to access the training component of your apprenticeship for up to 12 months, for free.

Training Services NSW will work with apprentices in drought and bushfire-affected areas to support them with ongoing training and help connect them to potential employers.

For more information, visit your local Training Services NSW office or call 13 28 11