Support in place for people connected to Auckland COVID-19 cases

Social Development and Employment

With a suite of Government income support packages available, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni is encouraging people, and businesses, connected to the recent Auckland COVID-19 cases to check the Work and Income website if they’ve been impacted by the need to self-isolate.

“If you are required to self-isolate and can’t work from home, I encourage you to check the Work and Income website and talk to your employer about the government support you may be eligible for,” said Carmel Sepuloni.

The Work and Income website provides clear and concise information about what support is available for different contact categories and locations of interest, connected to the recent Auckland COVID-19 cases and can be found here

Short Term Absence Payment

The COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay their workers who cannot work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result.

This is a one-off payment of $350. Businesses can apply for the Short-Term Absence Payment if they’ve been advised that their worker, or a self-employed person, is:

  • staying home while waiting for a COVID-19 test result, in accordance with public health guidance, or are;
  • the parent or caregiver of a dependant who is staying home while waiting for their COVID-19 test results, in accordance with public health guidance, and the dependant needs support to do so safely, or are;
  • a household member or secondary contact (as described in public health guidance) of someone who is a close contact of a person with COVID-19, and the worker has been advised to stay at home while waiting for the close contact’s test results.

Leave Support Scheme

“Also available is the Leave Support Scheme which is for those who meet certain criteria and have to self-isolate, cannot go to work, and cannot work from home.

“The Leave Support Scheme is paid as a lump sum and covers two weeks for each eligible employee. The Leave Support Scheme is paid at a flat rate of $1176.60 for people who were working 20 hours or more per week (full-time rate) and $700 for people who were working less than 20 hours per week (part-time rate).

“The employer must pay their employees any amount required by the employment agreement and employment legislation. The Leave Support Scheme requirements do not remove or reduce this obligation.

Auckland Resurgence Support Line

“The Ministry for Social Development have also established an Auckland Resurgence Support Line to offer welfare support to the Papatoetoe community, and has since been widened to include those being asked to self-isolate as a result of the subsequent Kmart and KFC cases.

“We all have a role to play in stamping out COVID from our communities. That is why MSD will continue to work closely with the Papatoetoe High School community, and reach out to employers in the Auckland area to make sure they’re all aware of the support that is available, and how to access it,” says Carmel Sepuloni.

The Ministry’s response to COVID-19 sits alongside other support that the Government is providing, for example, the Resurgence Support Payment to support businesses impacted from the most recent lockdown.

Key COVID-19 information has also been translated in over 20 languages, alongside accessible formats for the disabled community.