9 months in - Advice!

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  • We are almost 9 months in, so still new at this whole life change! We're really up and down (and have been since we arrived!) We're a family of 3, our son is almost 15 - he appears to be settling well actually, he struggled a lot in the beginning, but is now making friends and enjoying the different activities that NZ has to offer.


    However, my husband and I (51 and 45 respectively) aren't as settled. We love the country and what it has to offer, but are struggling with the lack of health care, the lack of annual leave and sick cover. My husband is working a lot more hours for a lot less money. And as we're getting older, we're considering the "what if" we need time off work due to ill health - how do we manage financially? - if anyone has any suggestions regarding how people cope I would love to hear from you. This is a big concern for us, and a definite driver for returning to the UK, but we don't want to regret returning and wishing we'd stayed, as we couldn't afford to Ping-Pong between countries.

    Sorry if this all sounds glum, but this is a repeating conversation/concern in our house.


    Thanks in advance.
  • Re: 9 months in - Advice!
    What do you both do for jobs
    I've had two or three in my 9 years in nz and all have had sick leave and A/L
    I currently have just short of 60 days A/L which is growing all the time and far more than my UK job gave me.
    acc will cover most accident related losses and even when I lived in the UK
    sick leave was limited to x amount of days per year and nz is no different to that.
    It looks like you are simply fishing for an excuse to justify going home
    because no one goes back because they don't have enough sick leave...
  • Re: 9 months in - Advice!
    Quote: .
    acc will cover most accident related losses and even when I lived in the UK
    sick leave was limited to x amount of days per year and nz is no different to that.
    It looks like you are simply fishing for an excuse to justify going home
    because no one goes back because they don't have enough sick leave...
    UK minimum sick leave is 10 days ... NZ is 5days.

    ACC only covers accidents ... not illness.

    Statutory sick pay in the UK £88 for 28 weeks ... There's no statutory sick pay in NZ.
  • Re: 9 months in - Advice!
    Hi Justcol

    I am an AOD clinician and my husband works on a car yard, though in the UK was a health physicist. My visa type states that I am tied to the employer who gave me the job, certainly for the first 3 years at least.

    You are fortunate to have so much leave, is this something you would have accrued over time, or are you lucky enough to have this as part of your job?
    As the other reply states, the U.K. sick leave is very different from NZ, and acc doesn't cover illness, which I am aware of due to a colleague struggling whilst absent from work whilst recovering from an operation.

    I am not "simply fishing for an excuse to justify going home". I don't need an excuse, if we wish to return we will. The reason for returning won't be due to sick leave, it's about being able to survive financially in gorgeous NZ, but thank you for your comments.
  • Re: 9 months in - Advice!
    The experts say to give it 18months or so, but for some thats not an option, financially/emotionally etc.

    I would say the quicker you make a decision the better, financially and emotionally.
    As I said in the other thread, been here just over 5 years and its still difficult for me, there's just something out of whack or missing here for me personally.
  • Re: 9 months in - Advice!
    We're trying to take each day as it comes and looking forward to the summer. We're definitely committed to at least 12 months, we're also very aware of our son and the impact on his education with moving him around.
    We have a lot of family here, so have plenty of support, I feel it will ultimately come down to whether we can manage financially. So far though, the work life balance has deteriorated which is a shame.
  • Re: 9 months in - Advice!
    "Working a lot more hours for a lot less money" . . . perhaps there is your answer, moreso than any concerns about sick leave.

    One thing to be careful of - make sure you have emergency funds set aside, so that if you do decide to go back to the UK, you can afford to do so. Many expats fall into the trap of giving it more time only to see their savings depleted and find they can't afford to go back to the UK.
  • Re: 9 months in - Advice!
    Thanks carcajou, fortunately we are able to afford to return to the UK if that's what we choose. We just don't want to make any rash decisions, giving ourselves a little more time and will hopefully make the right decision either way.
    We are looking at solutions to the problems we're experiencing, whether these are realistic and do-able remains to be seen.
  • Re: 9 months in - Advice!
    Quote: Hi Justcol

    I am an AOD clinician and my husband works on a car yard, though in the UK was a health physicist. My visa type states that I am tied to the employer who gave me the job, certainly for the first 3 years at least.

    You are fortunate to have so much leave, is this something you would have accrued over time, or are you lucky enough to have this as part of your job?
    As the other reply states, the U.K. sick leave is very different from NZ, and acc doesn't cover illness, which I am aware of due to a colleague struggling whilst absent from work whilst recovering from an operation.

    I am not "simply fishing for an excuse to justify going home". I don't need an excuse, if we wish to return we will. The reason for returning won't be due to sick leave, it's about being able to survive financially in gorgeous NZ, but thank you for your comments.
    I assume you are here on a temporary class work visa - maybe Essential Skills or Accredited Employer etc and your husband is also on a similar temporary visa as a Partner of a Temporary Work Visa holder ?


    Yes your visa is only approved on the basis you keep that job with those responsibilities and with that company, but you can change. If you did get a better offer you could approach Immigration to consider if any new job still qualified you for this type or a different type of visa. If it did and you wanted to go ahead with any job move then Immigration would re-issue the work visa with different conditions then tieing you to the new job/responsibilities/employer.
    If hubby on a partnership visa he can do whatever he wants and isn't tied to any employer so if his job is making him unhappy then he could change without any Immigration issues.
  • Re: 9 months in - Advice!
    Quote: I assume you are here on a temporary class work visa - maybe Essential Skills or Accredited Employer etc and your husband is also on a similar temporary visa as a Partner of a Temporary Work Visa holder ?


    Yes your visa is only approved on the basis you keep that job with those responsibilities and with that company, but you can change. If you did get a better offer you could approach Immigration to consider if any new job still qualified you for this type or a different type of visa. If it did and you wanted to go ahead with any job move then Immigration would re-issue the work visa with different conditions then tieing you to the new job/responsibilities/employer.
    If hubby on a partnership visa he can do whatever he wants and isn't tied to any employer so if his job is making him unhappy then he could change without any Immigration issues.
    Yes I'm on the temporary work visa, and my husband's piggy-backs this. We have looked into visa changes, which are doable - however working in the addictions field, it seems the t&cs are similar throughout. Many of my colleagues have moved around and through a number of the employers.
    With regards my husband - again we are aware that he can change his job which is fortunate. His skill set is very unique (nuclear industry) and not easily found in NZ. We are trying all avenues to address the problems we are experiencing, and we're not giving up without trying to find solutions.
  • Re: 9 months in - Advice!
    Quote: His skill set is very unique (nuclear industry) and not easily found in NZ. We are trying all avenues to address the problems we are experiencing, and we're not giving up without trying to find solutions.
    What exactly - nuclear power or more the radioactive path ?
  • Re: 9 months in - Advice!
    Quote: His skill set is very unique (nuclear industry) and not easily found in NZ.
    That has to be an understatement but you would have known that before coming out so what are his transferable skills like? Focus on those.
  • Re: 9 months in - Advice!
    Quote: What exactly - nuclear power or more the radioactive path ?
    He is a health physicist by trade, so primarily nuclear licensed facilities, but worked for and in areas that are being decommissioned and have had radiological materials. I'm sure it's a lot more complex than I've described, but that's kind of the gist.
  • Re: 9 months in - Advice!
    Quote: That has to be an understatement but you would have known that before coming out so what are his transferable skills like? Focus on those.

    We were aware that there are no nuclear facilities here, hence getting here on my qualifications and job offer. We have approached lab type facilities that use radiological isotopes, but it's all in the qualifications rather than the experience that their interested in, and at 51 he's not really up for retraining. We are constantly looking at alternative employment for him, which he's open to, so will see how it goes.
  • Re: 9 months in - Advice!
    Quote: However, my husband and I (51 and 45 respectively) aren't as settled. We love the country and what it has to offer, but are struggling with the lack of health care, the lack of annual leave and sick cover. My husband is working a lot more hours for a lot less money. And as we're getting older, we're considering the "what if" we need time off work due to ill health - how do we manage financially? - if anyone has any suggestions regarding how people cope I would love to hear from you. This is a big concern for us, and a definite driver for returning to the UK, but we don't want to regret returning and wishing we'd stayed, as we couldn't afford to Ping-Pong between countries.
    So if I understand this correctly, you are afraid of staying here in case you get sick?

    Income protection insurance will set you back approx $10/week.

    Or you could get one of these.