Emergency payment on application during Alert Level 2

We expect that the demand for relievers and other casual staff will start to return to normal at Alert Level 2, but there may be a small number of casual school employees who need further support.

Support is available for day relief teachers and support staff who are engaged on a casual basis by schools on application only for those who:

  • worked day relief hours (teachers) or variable hours paid by timesheet (non-teachers) for a state or state-integrated school or kura on at least one occasion during the 2020 school year; and
  • since 18 May 2020 have had to turn down an offer by at least one school to work day relief hours (teachers) or variable hours paid by timesheet (non-teachers) because you or a dependant you care for is:
    • sick with COVID-19; or
    • required to self-isolate due to coming into close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will need to submit your application form (external link) by 5pm Wednesday 10 June to be processed on pay day 17 June 2020.

This processing pattern will continue fortnightly. The initial payment will be from the date of diagnosis or notice of isolation due to COVID-19, but no earlier than 18 May 2020, when schools fully re-opened under Alert Level 2. Where required, payments will continue fortnightly until the employee recovers from the illness or completes the period of required isolation.

Applicants will need to provide evidence of diagnosis or a public health notice of isolation.

This support will be available when required for the first four weeks of Alert Level 2 and reviewed as we progress towards Alert Level 1.


Applicants will need to make a declaration on the form that they meet the eligibility criteria and are not receiving other Government support such as the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy.

If you are receiving assistance from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) then the emergency payment may impact that. You must tell the MSD that you are receiving the emergency payment.

We may provide MSD with your name and IRD number, or any other information provided with respect to your application for the emergency payment (both at the time of application and any information provided at a later time), to be used by MSD to review or make decisions about any assistance, subsidies or payments that are granted to you.

Apply for the emergency payment online (external link)

Casual workers who are vulnerable and can’t return to work

Unlike Alert Levels 3 and 4, at Alert Level 2 people deemed at higher-risk of COVID-19 can return back to work onsite. If a day relief teacher or casual support staff member is not comfortable entering the work site and has a medical certificate outlining their risk of COVID-19, they should work with the schools who employ them to find a solution that mitigates the risk and allows for their safe return.

In the unlikely event that the school has been unable to alleviate their concerns and it is not possible for the staff member to work from home, the staff member may contact employment.relations@education.govt.nz to see if there is any support available to them.

How is the emergency payment calculated?

The Alert Level 2 emergency payment will be calculated using each eligible worker’s average hours of casual work undertaken during the 2020 school year up to 22 April. This is the same approach taken at Alert Level 3 and Alert Level 4.

Who to contact?

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