Government support is needed for migrant workers as a result of Covid-19
Some migrant worker are facing difficult circumstances due to losing their jobs due to Covid-19.
This has left migrant workers stranded with no income, bills to pay and families in need of support. It has always been a tenuous thing to be am migrant worker regardless of where you are in the world. We have to be compassionate, as we have in the past. We are a small country and we have a limited amount of support we can give. Although, migrants need support during this time as they currently do not qualify for benefits. It would be inhumane to let people go without.
Community law centres are calling on the Government to provide emergency benefits for migrants who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.
Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has been urged to activate a special provision under Section 64 of the Social Security Act to give benefits to people who do not normally qualify. Some workers are now at risk of losing their visa status, while others are struggling to afford the basics, such as food and shelter.
There is no data on the number of temporary migrant workers that have lost their jobs, however, there are 41,945 work visa holders currently in New Zealand with visas expiring during or before September 2020, an Immigration New Zealand spokeswoman said.
Migrant workers have contacted law centres throughout the country requesting help. These centres have indicated that there is a looming humanitarian crisis developing from migrant workers.