COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is available to employers, including self-employed people, to help pay their employees who must self-isolate because of COVID-19 and can't work at home during that period.


We’re currently receiving large numbers of applications for COVID-19 support payments. Please don’t call us to check the status of your application.

It can take up to 5 days to process applications. We’re working as quickly as we can.

To be eligible for at least one payment of the Leave Support Scheme your employee will have been required to self-isolate for at least 4 consecutive calendar days.

This means your employees:

  • can't come into work because they are in one of the affected groups and must self-isolate, and
  • can't work from home.

Employment New Zealand has guides for using sick leave and how this relates to Leave Support Scheme:

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is paid at the rate of:

  • $600 for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week.
  • $359 for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week.

You may be able to get more than one Leave Support payment if your employee or you, if you're self-employed, must keep isolating.

See the Leave Support Scheme declaration for further details on eligibility criteria and obligations.

COVID-19 and health concerns

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should call the dedicated COVID-19 Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453.

For any other health concerns, you can call the general Healthline number on 0800 611 116 or talk to their doctor or health provider. Employers should encourage their employees to do this if they're unwell.

We also have the Short-Term Absence Payment available to employers to help pay employees who have to wait on a COVID-19 PCR test result in line with Ministry of Health guidelines.