Ministers, Please grant the Emergency Benefit to help our Migrant workers amidst COVID-19

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Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Minister of Social Development 
Hon Iain Lees-Galloway, Minister of Employment Relations

Via email:

All communities are vulnerable during this pandemic — but some more than others. In such times it is inevitable that vulnerable migrant workers, will experience the most significant job losses and have the most limited financial means to weather the storm.

We ask that the government urgently extend welfare benefits to migrant workers during this time of Covid-19 crisis.

Migrant workers are a core part of the New Zealand workforce. Many have built their careers here and paid taxes for years, so it is only fair that the Government support them in their time of need.

We respectfully request that the government urgently reconsiders the criteria for access to benefit entitlement to allow migrants access to benefits during the period of the Covid-19 crisis.

We ask that the government allows migrant workers on work visas access to benefits they would be entitled to but for the current residential criteria for at least 6 months.

We also ask that the Minister immediately extend access to emergency benefits for migrant workers on temporary work visas under s64 of the Social Security Act 2018.

Petition started on behalf of Union Network of Migrants(UNEMIG) and through partner organisations, Migrante Aotearoa New Zealand and Indian Workers’ Association (IWA) .