AUCKLAND (NZ Punjabi News Service): A migrant workers' group has demanded to use section 64 of the Social Security Act to grant emergency benefits to migrant worker as the current financial support for migrant workers comes to an end at the end of the month.
Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG) has written to the Ministers for Social Development and Immigration, demanding the government to use the section.
UNEMIG spokesperson Mandeep Bela said, “Migrants have been the first workers to be terminated or have their hours cut during the Covid-19 crisis, but it’s also becoming increasingly clear that some of NZ’s key industries want our labour to plug the shortage and keep the economy moving”.
Bela said Migrants are keen to play their part in NZ’s economic recovery, but redeployment requires time to find work and then secure their visas. Migrant workers need to be supported financially during that period."
UNEMIG had urged the Government to use Section 64 after level-4 lockdown was imposed to check spread of COVID - 19. However, government provided funding to Red Cross to implement the Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri programme.
Bela said it’s time for the government to take a bold step to prevent a humanitarian crisis for migrant workers and safeguard our economic recovery.