COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme extension
The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme has been further expanded. The Scheme provides financial assistance to employers where employees cannot work due to the need to self-isolate.
The following groups of employees will now be covered by the Scheme:
- People who have COVID-like symptoms, work in a health and disability facility or service that gets funding from a DHB, the Ministry of Health, or the Ministry of Social Development, and have been told that they need to self-isolate while awaiting a test or test results
- People who have COVID-like symptoms, work in an aged-care facility or service and have been told that they need to self-isolate while awaiting a test or test results
- Caregivers of dependents who have been directed to self-isolate, and need support to do so safely
These groups are in addition to those already covered by the Scheme (you can read our earlier article on the Scheme here).
Employees who are sick with COVID-like symptoms must have been told to self-isolate by a doctor or a health official through the contact tracing process. Being told by someone at a Community Testing Station or by Healthline, will not be sufficient.
Work and Income won’t verify the employees’ reason for self-isolation. Employers will only be asked to declare that their employee advised them that they meet one of the criteria. Employers will therefore need the employee to confirm that they fall into one of the eligible categories. Employers must also get the employees’ consent to disclose the information to the Ministry of Social Development.
Andrew Little has said the expansion of the Scheme is to encourage people to “do the right thing, get a COVID-19 test and stay away from work”
Payments for the scheme will cover a two week period. This is a reduction from the current four week period, however employers can make an application for a further two weeks if a longer self-isolation period is required.
Want to know more?
If you have any questions about the Leave Support Scheme please contact our specialist Employment Team.