Latest News

Actively Advocating: Essential Workers Leave Support

April 7, 2020 | Advocacy, Life with MS

MSNZ is aware that many people with MS are concerned about working in Essential Services and choosing between protecting their or their loved one’s health and earning a living.

On 2 April it was announced a new subsidy will support essential workers who have to stay at home to comply with public health guidance, and whose employers are unable to keep paying them.

MSNZ has written to the Hon Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance, and Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Minister of Social Development and Disability Issues, to request that Multiple Sclerosis be a listed condition for the essential workers leave subsidy due to come into effect Monday 6 April.

Letter to Hon Grant Robertson and Hon Carmel Sepuloni – RE Multiple Sclerosis 6 April 2020


About the Essential Workers Leave Subsidy

It will apply specifically only to:

  1. Workers who self-isolate in accordance with Public Health guidelines, because they have the virus or have close contact with someone with the virus or have a dependent who has to self-isolate in this way.
  2. Workers who are deemed as “higher risk” in accordance with public health guidelines and should be in self-isolation.
  3. Workers who have someone in their household who are “higher risk”.

The subsidy will be the same – $585.80 for a worker working 20 hours a week or more and $350 for a worker working less than 20 a week.

The subsidy will be paid for 4 weeks at a time and is able to be reapplied for.

The scheme will last at least as long as the lockdown.

This means that Essential Services will have help with employees who have to stay away. Employees who just don’t want to work or feel too scared to work, will have the standard access to sick or annual leave, but no subsidy available.

Full details of the announcement on the Work and Income website