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Govt unveils new weekly payment for redundant workers

26 May 2020  By Staff Reporter | | @tourismticker

The Government has announced a new Income Relief Payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The payment would be available for 12 weeks from 8 June for anyone who had lost their job due to the impact of Covid-19 since March 1. It would pay $490 a week to those who lost full-time work and $250 for part-time. The payment would not be taxed.

The Government said people who received the payment will be required to:

  • Be available for, and actively seeking, suitable work opportunities while they receive the payment
  • Take appropriate steps towards gaining new employment; and
  • Identify and take opportunities for employment, re-deployment and training.

Grant Robertson

“The Government’s priority is making sure people are in work and able to find new work if their job has been impacted by Covid,” said finance minister Grant Robertson.

“We’ve always acknowledged that we won’t be able to save every job or every business and we have not hidden the fact that this is a global economic crisis and things are likely to get worse.”

He said the scheme was similar to the Job Loss Cover payment introduced by the previous National Government during the Canterbury earthquakes, and had a number of similarities to the ReStart package for workers who lost their jobs in the Global Financial Crisis.

“We know these schemes reduced the impact on people who lost their jobs due to those shocks. They show how important it is for people to have a safety net to support themselves and their families as they look for new work or retrain,” Robertson said.

Robertson added work was underway on a more permanent unemployment insurance scheme in New Zealand.

The 12-week scheme is forecast to cost about $570m and would be funded from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund.


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