In mid-December 2020, the Government announced the availability of the Wage Subsidy Scheme if New Zealand Alert Levels escalate again. The wage subsidy scheme has previously proven to be very successful for ensuring the retention and payment of employees, and ongoing business viability.
The Wage Subsidy Scheme will be available if there is an escalation to Alert Levels 3 or 4 anywhere in New Zealand, for 7 days or more, under substantially the same criteria as the previous wage subsidies. The same rules on retaining staff and passing on the subsidy will remain, as does the eligibility threshold of a 40% decline in revenue.
The 40% decline will now be measured against the typical fortnightly revenue of the business in the six weeks prior to the Alert Level escalation, rather than revenue from the same time last year. This recognises that the prior year’s revenues are not comparable in the current COVID-19 economic environment. Businesses will be required to keep evidence that the change in Alert Levels is the cause of the decline in revenue.
Payment rates will be:
- $585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week (full-time rate)
- $350.00 for people working less than 20 hours per week (part-time rate).
The support will be made as two-weekly payments, for the duration of Alert Level 3 or 4 (rounded to the nearest fortnight), rather than for a fixed period.
Please get in touch with your local BDO advisor to discuss whether you are eligible and what payment you might receive under the scheme.