NZ Wage Subsidy Scheme

The Wage Subsidy August 2021 is a payment to support employers, so they can continue to pay employees and protect jobs for businesses affected by the move to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021.

You can apply for a contribution towards the wages of your employees (or yourself, if you are self-employed) for a two week period. You can’t apply for the same employee twice for the same period.

We also have the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme and the Short-Term Absence Payment available to employers and the self-employed. Employers cannot get the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021 and Leave Support Scheme simultaneously for the same employee, at the same time.

  1. Who can get it

To get the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021 you must:

  • operate a business in New Zealand that employs and pay the employees named in your application, and
  • meet the revenue decline test set out in the declaration, and
  • meet the other eligibility criteria set out in the declaration.

The declaration lists all the eligibility criteria in full, and you need to agree to this when you apply. You must meet all these criteria to get the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021.

The declaration will be available on our website from 9am on Friday 20 August 2021.

2. Application

You’ll be able to apply online from 9am on Friday 20 August 2021, and applications will be open for two weeks.

3. Payment rates

The Wage Subsidy August 2021 will cover a two week period at the rate of::

  • $600 a week for each full-time employee retained (20 hours a week or more)
  • $359 a week for each part-time employee retained (less than 20 hours a week).

You can’t get a Wage Subsidy for an employee for the period they’re covered by a Leave Support Scheme or Short-Term Absence Payment.

COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment

The COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment helps businesses directly affected when there’s an increase to Alert Level 2 or higher for 7 day period (or more). The payment is in place to help cover wages and fixed costs for businesses directly impacted.

To be eligible, your business must have experienced at least a 30% drop in revenue or a 30% decline in capital-raising ability over a 7-day period, the decline being directly attributable to increased Covid Alert Levels.

Covid Resurgence Support Payment is available nationally.

What you can receive

  • $1,500 per business plus $400 per full-time employee (FTE), up to 50 FTE.
  • The maximum payment is $21,500.
  • If you’re a sole trader, you can receive a payment of up to $1,900.

Find out more information about the COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment and how to apply

COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment

The COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment applies to employers of people who are required to be absent while they await Covid tests, and are unable to work from home. This includes employees on casual contracts.

Specifically, the payment helps businesses keep paying employees who:

  • Cannot work from home, and
  • Need to stay at home while waiting on a COVID-19 test result.

This must be in line with public health guidance.  A one-off payment of $350 is available for each employee. You can apply for it once for each eligible employee in any 30-day period.

However, you can re-apply if a health official or doctor tells them to get another test.

Your business should encourage employees to call Healthline or talk to their doctor if they are unwell.

Find out more about who is eligible for the COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment, and how to apply.

COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

If any of your employees have been advised to self-isolate, and cannot work from home, you can apply for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme for them. You can also apply if you are self-employed.

The scheme means employees and self-employed people receive an income if they cannot work from home while they’re self-isolating. This includes employees on casual contracts.

The Leave Support Scheme is paid at a flat rate of:

  • $585.80 a week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week
    $350 a week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week.
    Employers, including self-employed people, and employees need to meet certain criteria to apply for the Leave Support Scheme.

Find out who is eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme, and how to apply.

Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme

Organisations and small-to-medium businesses, including sole traders and the self-employed, may be eligible for a one-off loan with a term of 5 years if they have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme provides assistance to businesses employing 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees. Bear in mind that only one amount can be drawn, to a maximum of $10,000 plus $1800 per full-time-equivalent employee.

Loans will be interest-free if they’re paid back within 2 years. The interest rate will be 3% for a maximum term of 5 years. Repayments are not required for the first 2 years. Applications are open until 31 December 2023.

Please contact us if you require advice around HR processes in relation to Covid-19