Pursuant to sections 124(1)(d) and 5 of the Social Security Act 1964, the Minister for Social Development and Employment establishes and approves the following
welfare programme for special assistance.
Dated at Wellington this 1st day of March 2011.
HON PAULA BENNETT, Minister of Social Services and Employment.
P r o g r a m m e
1. Title-This programme is the Earthquake Job Loss Cover Programme.
2. Commencement-This programme comes into effect on the day on which it is established and approved.
3. Expiry-This programme expires on the close of
30 April 2011.
4. Purpose-The purpose of this programme is to provide temporary financial assistance to certain people who have lost employment, or wages or salary from employment, as a result of the 22 February 2011 aftershock.
5. Interpretation-(1) In this programme, unless the context otherwise requires:
22 February 2011 aftershock or aftershock means the aftershock of the Canterbury earthquake that occurred at the specified time, and includes any later aftershocks of that earthquake.
Act means the Social Security Act 1964.
affected area means the district of the Christchurch City Council.
applicant means a person who has applied, or on whose behalf an application has been made for assistance under this programme and, where the context requires, includes a person who has been granted assistance under this programme.
Canterbury earthquake means the earthquake that occurred on 4 September 2010 in Canterbury, and includes all of its aftershocks.
civil defence loss of livelihood payments means payments made by the department under the Civil Defence Scheme in respect of loss of livelihood.
earnings related compensation means earnings related compensation under the Accident Compensation Act 2001.
earthquake job loss cover means the special assistance under this programme.
Earthquake Support Subsidy means the employment assistance provided by the department to subsidise the payment of wages or salary to staff of certain businesses affected by the 22 February 2011 aftershock who are continuing to trade.
specified benefit means any of the following:
(a) an unemployment benefit, a sickness benefit, a widow’s benefit, a domestic purposes benefit,
an invalid’s benefit, an independent youth benefit, or an emergency benefit; or
(b) New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension; or
(c) a basic grant or an independent circumstances grant under the Student Allowances Regulations 1998.
specified time means 12.51pm on 22 February 2011.
(2) Terms otherwise defined in section 3(1) of the Act have the same meanings in this programme.
6. Application of the Act-(1) Sections 12, 62, 63, 72, 74, 74A, 76, 77, 80A, 81, 82 (except 82(6) to (6D)), 84, and 86J of the Act apply to the following as if the special assistance under this programme were a benefit under the Act:
(a) this programme;
(b) an applicant;
(c) the applicant’s spouse or partner (if any).
(2) Nothing in subclause (1) affects the application of any other provision of the Act.
7. Application requirements-Earthquake job loss cover must not be granted to an applicant unless the department has received:
(a) an application form (provided by the chief executive for the purpose) completed by or on behalf of the applicant and his or her spouse or partner (if any) to the chief executive’s satisfaction; and
(b) any supporting evidence reasonably required by the chief executive.
8. Earthquake job loss cover-(1) The chief executive may grant earthquake job loss cover to an applicant if the chief executive is satisfied:
(a) that the applicant was employed in employment (not being self-employment) at the specified time whether or not the applicant was working in that employment at that time; and
(b) the applicant’s place of work in that employment was located in the affected area or, in exceptional circumstances, outside the affected area; and
(c) the applicant is in one of the following situations:
(i) the applicant has lost that employment as a result of damage to his or her employer’s business from the 22 February 2011 aftershock;
(ii) the applicant’s employer’s business was affected by damage from the aftershock, but
the employer, being an employer who would otherwise be eligible for the Earthquake Support Subsidy in respect of the applicant’s employment, has decided, following consultation with its employees, not to apply for that subsidy and is not paying the applicant’s wages or salary;
(iii) the applicant’s employer cannot be contacted, and is not paying the applicant’s wages or salary; and
(d) neither the applicant nor his or her spouse or partner (if any) is receiving any specified benefit or civil defence loss of livelihood payments; and
(e) the applicant is not receiving earnings related compensation in respect of personal injury caused by the aftershock.
(2) For the purpose of subclause (1)(c), damage to an employer’s business from the aftershock includes:
(a) damage to any business premises of the employer,
or to any building in which those premises were located, that makes the premises unusable; or
(b) loss of access to any business premises of the employer due to damage to any surrounding building or streets, or a cordon or curfew preventing
(c) loss of use of any business premises of the
employer because of the absence of essential services (for example, electricity or water); or
(d) significant loss of business due to damage to or
the inaccessibility of any premises located in the affected area of any person to whom the employer supplied goods or services under contract; or
(e) a severe down-turn in business following the aftershock.
(3) If an applicant and his or her spouse or partner were
both in employment (other than self-employment) at the specified time, both may be granted earthquake job loss cover if otherwise eligible for it.
(4) Subclause (3) is for the avoidance of doubt.
9. Rate of job loss cover-The weekly amount of a payment of job loss cover is:
(a) for an applicant whose employment at the specified time was for a period of less than 20 hours a week, $240.00;
(b) for any other applicant, $400.00.
10. Commencement of job loss cover-Job loss cover commences on 22 February 2011.
11. Ending of job loss cover-(1) Job loss cover, if it is not earlier terminated under section 81 of the Act, ends at the earliest of the following times:
(a) on the close of the day that is six weeks after
22 February 2011;
(b) if the applicant commences or resumes employment within the period set out in paragraph (a), on the day on which the applicant commences or resumes that employment;
(c) if the applicant’s employer applies for Earthquake Support Subsidy in respect of the applicant’s employment, on the date on which that subsidy begins to be paid.
(2) Job loss cover ends if:
(a) the business premises of the applicant’s employer become available for use within the period set out in subclause (1)(a); and
(b) the employer offers to resume the applicant’s employment at those premises; and
(c) the applicant declines that offer.
12. Amendment to Direction in relation to Special Benefit-Clause 13 amends the Direction in relation to Special Benefit given on 10 February 1999*.
13. Definitions-Paragraph (f)(ii) of the definition of chargeable income in clause 2.1 is amended by
inserting "the Earthquake Job Loss Cover Programme," after "the Temporary Accommodation Assistance (Canterbury Earthquake) Programme,".
This note is not part of the programme, but is intended to indicate its general effect.
This welfare programme under the Social Security Act 1964 comes into effect on the day it is established and approved. It provides temporary financial assistance, called earthquake job loss cover, to employees whose workplaces were generally in the Christchurch district and who have lost employment, or wages or salary from employment, due to damage to their employer’s business from the 22 February 2011 aftershock of the Canterbury earthquake.
To be eligible, an applicant and his or her spouse or partner must not be receiving a specified benefit under the Social Security Act 1964, a basic grant or an independent circumstances grant under the Student Allowances Regulations 1998, or loss of livelihood payments under the Civil Defence Scheme. The applicant’s employer must have decided not to apply for the Earthquake Support Subsidy, or be unable to be contacted. Earthquake job loss cover is not income or asset tested but is not payable if the applicant is receiving earnings related compensation for personal injury caused by the aftershock.
Assistance is provided for a maximum of six weeks from
the day of the aftershock at the rate of $240.00 a week for people who normally work less than 20 hours a week and $400.00 a week for others.
*New Zealand Gazette, 16 December 1999, No. 193, page 4599