Join the COVID-19 surge workforce

The Ministry of Health is seeking expressions of interest from health and disability workers who are looking for paid work, or health organisations who need to employ extra workers as part of the response to COVID-19.

On this page:

Worker registration of interest

The Ministry of Health is seeking expressions of interest from health and disability workers who are looking for paid work as part of the response to COVID-19. Training will be provided by your employer, and there are a number of roles available including contact and non-contact roles.

If you can assist with the COVID-19 response in any way, please register your interest online and our partners will match you to a paid role based on your skill set and availability.
 

Register your interest


Employer workforce requests

If you are a health organisation who needs to employ extra workers to help manage COVID-19, please log a workforce request, and one of our partners will get back to you (if they find somebody suitable).
 

Log a workforce request


Ministry-funded training for kaiāwhina roles

If you’re interested in transitioning into a kaiāwhina role during COVID-19, the Ministry of Health has collaborated with Careerforce, an Industry Training Organisation, to create an online learning program that helps you gain the skills you need to do so.

The programme comes in two parts:

  • Part one teaches you about the three core competencies (observe and respond to changes, vulnerability and abuse, professional and ethical behaviour) that are required across all kaiāwhina roles.
  • Part two teaches you the common technical skills (challenging behaviour, minimising falls, support for different cultures) across the kaiāwhina roles.

For further information about what is covered in the online learning programme, please read the overview of the Surge Workforce learning modules:

The Ministry of Health will fund the first 100 workers to undergo this training for free (a $130 value), if the following criteria is met:

  • The individual is a health and disability worker and is registered on the Surge Workforce database.
  • The individual is available to work in a kaiāwhina role as part of the COVID-19 response, should one become available.

To sign up for the online learning programme, please do the following:

  1. Register your interest for the Surge Workforce, if you haven’t already done so – you must be registered on the Surge Workforce database before you sign up for the course.
  2. Download and and fill out the following application form (Word, 137 KB)
  3. Send your completed form to info@careerforce.org.nz.

Once your application form is sent, the customer services team at Careerforce will be in touch with your enrolment and login details. Please note that this may take up to five days to be processed.


Frequently asked questions for workers

What types of roles are you hiring for?

There are opportunities in both general and clinically-specialised contact roles, as well as non-contact roles such as contact tracing, and work-from-home roles, such as Healthline operators.

When can I start?

Our partners are looking to match people to roles as soon as possible once workers’ details are submitted to them, have had their annual practising certificate renewed (if applicable), and had reference checks and criminal background checks completed. Not everyone will be contacted by a potential employer, but please remember that this is a good thing, as it means that there are enough people to handle the COVID-19 response in your area.

What locations can I work in?

There are opportunities to work across the country, but some people may be able to work from home, depending on what role they are filling. For example, if you are assigned a Healthline role, this is something that can be done at home. 

How many hours will I be required to work per week?

Your hours worked per week and the hours of work will be negotiable with your employer based on availability.

How will I be trained and inducted?

Your employer will handle all training and inductions once you start work with them.

How long will my contract be?

All contracts are handled by the employer you’ve been matched with. 

Will I be required to work shifts and after hours?

Depending on the role, you may be required to work shifts and after hours. You have the option to add notes about your availability on the application form, which will be taken into account if one of our partners matches you to a role. Ultimately this will be for your employer.

Will I be paid?

Yes! Health and disability workers will be paid by the individual employer that you secure a contract with.

My annual practising certificate has expired. Is there a cost associated with getting it reinstated?

Some Responsible Authorities are choosing to waive or subsidise the fee during this time, but the cost of reinstating annual practising certificates is at the discretion of the Responsible Authorities involved.

How will my personal information be used?

Accent Health Recruitment needs to collect your name, contact information, location and information about your experience and qualifications in order to ensure that you are qualified to be a paid health and disability worker as part of New Zealand's COVID-19 response.

Accent Health is managing the information collected and is responsible for potentially matching you with an employer that has an open role based on your skill set and availability. Accent Health Recruitment will also share information with Beyond Recruitment so they can provide an additional screening and vetting service and Beyond Recruitment may ask you to provide references.

If selected, your employer may ask you to consent to a Police check. The Ministry of Health also has access to the database so we can monitor and prioritise requests. If you chose not to enter your home address or contact details, they will be unable to match you to a role.

You have the right to ask for a copy of any personal information we hold about you, and to ask for it to be corrected if you think it is wrong. You can do this by emailing info@healthworkforce.govt.nz


Frequently asked questions for employers


How are demand requests being managed?

The Ministry of Health is prioritising requests for workers based on a range of factors, including whether workers are needed in COVID-19 hot spot areas or whether the request is the result of health worker shortages due to COVID-19. 

How are workers assigned to roles?

Accent Health Recruitment is matching health workers to roles by considering the qualifications and skill sets required, the location where the worker is needed, and the hours they would need to work. Beyond Recruitment is assisting with additional screening questions and reference checks to help determine suitability.

Will health workers be registered as health professionals?

All regulated health practitioners will be required to be registered with the relevant Responsible Authority and have current annual practising certificates where required. 

Who will do the Police checks?

Police checks will be the responsibility of the employer once final decisions are made about preferred candidates for roles.

Who will be the employer of selected health workers?

The health organisation requesting the health worker would be the employer and responsible for all employment-related statutory requirements. The Ministry of Health is not involved in the employment process.

How are employees paid?

Employees will be paid by the organisation employing them.

Does the Ministry of Health provide employment contracts?

No, employment contracts need to be provided by the employer.

What if a health worker assigned to a role turns out to be unsuitable?

Accent Health Recruitment and Beyond Recruitment are working together to determine the most suitable candidates for different roles. This includes reference checks, CV checks and general screening questions. If a health worker is not performing in a role, standard employment termination procedures would apply, and the health organisation could then make a new request through the COVID-19 recruitment portal.
 

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