The Government has introduced wage subsidies and leave payments to support employers (and staff) affected by COVID-19.
All New Zealand employers, contractors, sole traders and self-employed people can apply for a wage subsidy for all staff. You can apply now.
• There is no cap on wage subsidies. Previously, there was a cap of $150,000; if you have already applied for and been granted the wage subsidy, you don’t need to do anything because the Ministry of Social Development will top up the difference.
• There is a high demand for subsidies and leave payments – it is currently taking five days to process applications. We urge you to apply as soon as possible
• The Government has also committed to underwriting loans of up to $500,000 for businesses with an annual turnover of between $250,000 and $80 million. Details of the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme will be announced shortly.
The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy will be paid at a flat rate of:
$585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week
$350.00 for people working less than 20 hours per week
• The subsidy is paid as a lump sum and covers 12 weeks per employee
• The subsidy is for wages only
• Businesses can get this subsidy once.
• Your business must be registered and operating in New Zealand
• Your employees must be legally working in New Zealand
• You can show that your business has a 30% actual or predicted decline in revenue for any month between January and June 2020 compared to the year before, and that decline is related to COVID-19
• Your business must have taken steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19
• You must make best efforts to retain employees and pay them a minimum of 80% of their normal income for the subsidised period
It is important that you apply now.
Who is the payment for?
The COVID-19 Leave Payment will be available to those who:
• Need to self-isolate (as determined by the Ministry of Health guidelines)
• Cannot work because they are sick with COVID-19
• Cannot work because they are caring for dependents requited to self-isolate, or who are sick with COVID-19
Note: Recipients of a Leave Payment must be working legally in New Zealand
The COVID-19 Leave Payment will be paid at a flat rate of:
$585.80 for a person working 20 hours or more per week
$350.00 for a person working less than 20 hours per week
• The payment will be available for 8 weeks from 17 March
• The payment will be made to employers who must pass the payment onto their employees in full
• Employers, contractors, sole traders or self-employed people may qualify for this payment.
Note: Employers receiving the payment for employees required to self-isolate can receive it for 14 days but will be able to re-apply for the payment (as employees may be required to self-isolate more than once)
It is important that you apply now.
You can apply for a Wage Subsidy or Leave payment online.
If you are an employer, the application form for both a Wage Subsidy and Leave payment is on the Work & Income website.
If you are self-employed the application form for both a Wage Subsidy and Leave payment is on the Work & Income website.
You will need:
• Your IRD number
• Your business name
• Your New Zealand Business Number (NZBN). If you don’t know your Business Number, visit the NZ Business Number website.
• Your business address
• The names of your employees
• Your employees’ IRD numbers
• Contact details for your business and your employees.
Note: Fill in these details accurately, or your application will be delayed. If more information is required, you will be contacted by phone by Ministry staff.
If your application is approved, you will receive email confirmation.
You can get more information on the Wage Subsidy and Leave Payment on the Government’s COVID-19 website and the Ministry of Social Development / Work & Income website.
You can also call these numbers:
0800 779 997 (8am–1am, 7 days a week)
O800 40 80 40