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Thread: Government help/Insurance if ill or unemployed?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Default Government help/Insurance if ill or unemployed?


    I am looking into emigrating from the Ntherlands to NZ. I was wondering about the social security in NZ.

    I read that you would typically get 5-10 sick days a year. I understood that that means that if you fall ill, your employer will continue to pay your salary for those 5-10 days. I wondered what happens after that. Are you left without income? Are there insurances in order to get at least some income if your sick period is going to be very long (e.g. months, years)? How much money/% would you get?

    Maybe this isn't the right forum, but same question for unemployment. Is there dole, for how long, also for immigrants, insurance, ...?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Mount Maunganui


    Hi, yes there is the dole, however I believe as a migrant part of the deal is that you have 2 years of funds or your sponsers will support you. Whether you are eligible before then I don't know.
    When I broke my wrist, I was able to claim 80% of my wages while off work through the ACC. I believe this cover is available to all working people whatever their status ie visa.
    Whether this covers you for sick leave after a certain period I am not sure.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    There is much less in the way of social security here than in Europe.

    Your contract with your employer will vary but there is a statutory requirement that you are given some 'special leave' after 6 months of employment. This can be used for sick pay or other purposes such as funerals agreed with your employer in advance.
    You will often need a doctors note for even one day off (which will set you back about $50).

    ACC will pay 80% of your income if you are unable to work due to an accident within NZ (or in some cases elsewhere if you are NZ resident). This cuts in after a week.

    You can also buy income protection insurance which is very cheap given that for younger people, ACC covers the main reason for not being able to work. Two types of policy exist - the sort which pays you 56% of your income (but is not taxable) and the sort that pays you 80% (but is taxable). Either way if you are on higher tax they work out the same amount of money in your pocket. Ask an advisor when you get here.

    It is also wise to consider private medical insurance.

    AFAIK You would only be eligible for unemployment benefit after two years residence and as in Europe insurance to protect you from this would be pricey.

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