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Auckland is at Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand at Alert Level 2. Mediations will be conducted remotely via phone or online video conference in Auckland.

COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment

Financial support for businesses to pay people in situations where they cannot work from home and need to stay at home while waiting for a COVID-19 test result.

Support is available for employers to pay their workers in situations where workers need to stay home and cannot work from home while they are waiting for a COVID-19 test result. Employers can apply for support to pay their employees. The self-employed or contractors can apply directly.

The payment will be a one-off amount of $350 for each eligible worker. Parents or caregivers who need to stay away from work to support their dependents who are staying at home awaiting a test result are also eligible, as are some people who need to stay at home in accordance with public health guidance while awaiting the test result of somebody in their household.

Employment law rights and obligations still apply to all employment relationships – regardless of the circumstances that we find ourselves in. This includes:

  • having a written employment agreement for every employee, and doing what that agreement requires
  • keeping each written employment agreement up to date, including documenting any changes that affect rates of pay or hours worked
  • meeting legislative and any relevant contractual requirements for changing employment arrangements or in potential restructuring or redundancy situations
  • complying with all minimum standards legislation and with the Employment Relations Act 2000. 

The COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment is administered by the Ministry of Social Development.

Find out who is eligible and how to apply on the Work and Income website.

COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment – Work and Income (external link)

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Page last revised: 09 February 2021

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