New Zealand
19 August 2021 | Minutes to read: 3

COVID-19 financial support for NZ businesses affected by latest lockdown

By William Buck

With the move to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021, the Government has reactivated the Wage Subsidy Scheme and Resurgence Support Payment support measures for businesses and workers. Eligible businesses will be able to claim both the wage subsidy and the resurgence support payment.

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme and the Short-Term Absence Payment are available to employers and the self-employed for workers unable to work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result or self-isolate.

You cannot claim a Wage Subsidy for an employee for the period they’re covered by the Leave Support Scheme or Short-Term Absence Payment

Wage Subsidy Scheme

The Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS) will be available for eligible businesses and self-employed people across New Zealand impacted by the increase in alert levels.

Businesses can apply for support if they experience or expect to have a loss of 40 per cent of revenue between 17 August 2021 and 30 August 2021, compared to a typical 14-day consecutive period of revenue in the six weeks immediately before the move to Alert Level 4.

The Wage Subsidy rates have been increased to $600 per week for a full-time employee and $359 per week for a part-time employee. This reflects the increase in wage costs since the scheme was first introduced in March 2020.

Applications for the WSS will be open from Friday 20 August 2021 for two weeks and will be paid as a two-week lump sum.

Please refer to the Work and Income website here for more information on applying for the WSS.

Resurgence Support Payment

The Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) is again available to businesses and organisations that experience a 30 per cent decline in revenue over a 7-day period as a result of the latest alert level increase. This decline in revenue is compared with a typical 7-day revenue period in the 6 weeks prior to the increase from alert level 1.

The payment provides businesses and organisations with cashflow support to cover fixed costs.

Eligible businesses can apply to receive a one-off payment of $1,500 plus $400 per full-time equivalent employee (up to a maximum of 50 full-time employees).

Applications for the RSP will open on 24 August and will remain open for one month after a nationwide return to alert level 1.

More information on the eligibility criteria and applying for the RSP can be found on the Inland Revenue website here.

Leave Support Scheme

The Leave Support Scheme remains available for employers, including self-employed people, to help pay their employees who must self-isolate and cannot work from home. It is a two-week lump sum payment of either $585.50 per week for full-time workers or $350 per week for part-time workers. From 24 August 2021, the payment will increase to $600 per week for full-time workers and $359 per week for part-time workers.

More information is available on the Work and Income website here.

Short-term Absence Payment

The Short-Term Absence Payment provides a one-off payment of $350 for workers (including self-employed workers) who are waiting for a COVID-19 test result and cannot work from home. From 24 August 2021, this payment is increasing to $359 for each eligible worker. Employers or the self-employed can apply for any worker once in any 30-day period.

You cannot claim the Leave Support Scheme and the Short-term Absence Payment for the same employee at the same time.

Information on the Short-term Absence Payment is available here.

We’re here for you

We continue to support our clients through this challenging period with key business and tax advice to answer your business-related questions and guide you through the COVID-19 financial support measures. For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit our Resource Page.

Should you need any additional support, please contact your local William Buck advisor – we’re here to help.

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