Emergency payment scheme for casual staff

Updated in relation to COVID-19 pandemic on 04 September 2020. This information will be reviewed on 14 September 2020, or earlier as required.

Emergency payment in Auckland Region during Alert Level 3

When the Auckland region moved to Alert Level 3 at noon on Wednesday 12 August, the emergency payment scheme was re-established for casual workers who wouldn't receive any payment due to the current Alert Level 3 lockdown restrictions in the Auckland region (12 – 26 August 2020).

Auckland has now moved back to Alert Level 2, as of midnight on 30 August.

The emergency payment was not intended to fully compensate staff for anticipated earnings over this period, rather to provide some support during the lockdown period.

Payments where due will be paid automatically by Education Payroll to all reliever and casual workers who have worked in a current state or state-integrated school or kura in term 2 or term 3 this year.

More information about eligibility for the emergency payment scheme for casual staff

Casual workers who live within the Alert Level 3 zone and have a relief or casual job outside of the Auckland region (subject to the criteria above), will also have received a payment if they cannot travel to their employing school or kura. If your school or kura is outside of the Auckland region, but you have day relief teachers or casual staff who often work in your school or kura and were unable to get to work due to travel restrictions please send their details to employment.relations@education.govt.nz.

The payment will be calculated based on the average hours worked in Term 2 and 3 (22 April to 25 August 2020) at the staff member’s usual pay rate and this average will provide them with a payment that will cover the period 26 August to 8 September. However, if they have worked hours that are paid in PP210112 i.e. pay day 9 September, these hours will be deducted from the emergency payment calculation.

The first emergency payment was made on 26 August. The second will be made on 9 September.

Emergency payment on application during Alert Level 2.

We expect that the demand for relievers and other casual staff remain at normal levels during 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 Term 2 or Term 3 (between 22 April and 11 August 2020); and
  • since 12 August 2020 have had to turn down an offer by at least one school or kura 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 16 September to be processed on pay day 23 September 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 12 August 2020.

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, and reviewed as we progress towards Alert Level 1.


Applicants under the Alert Level 2 payment scheme 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 online for the emergency payment(external link)

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

At Alert Level 2 people deemed at higher-risk of COVID-19 can safely 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?

As with the Alert Level 3 emergency payment, Alert Level 2 emergency payments will be calculated at each eligible worker’s average variable day relief or casual hours undertaken to date in Terms 2 and 3 (22 April to 25 August 2020). However, if you have worked hours that are paid in PP210112 i.e. pay day 9 September, these hours will be deducted from the emergency payment calculation.

Who to contact?


Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback