On Monday 17th August 2020 – The Government announced a new Wage Subsidy payment – the Resurgence Wage Subsidy. This subsidy is for 2 weeks only, for businesses who meet the criteria AND are not currently getting the Wage Subsidy, Wage Subsidy Extension, or the Leave Support Scheme
- you must be an eligible employer
- your business must be in New Zealand
- your employees must be legally working in New Zealand
- you must have (or expect to have) a 40% decline in revenue because of COVID-19, over a 14 day period between 12th August to 10 September, compared to a similar period last year. Your 2 week payment will run from the date you apply.
- you must retain the employees you are applying for and;
- try your hardest to pay staff at least 80% of their usual wages;
- if that is not possible, pay at least the rate of the Resurgence Wage Subsidy
- if the employee’s usual wages are lower than the rate of the Resurgence Wage Subsidy, continue paying that amount for the duration of the subsidy.
You cannot receive more than one COVID-19 payment for the same employee at the same time. The Resurgence Wage Subsidy will be paid at the same rate as the original Wage Subsidy.
- $585.80 gross for people working 20 hours or more per week OR
- $350.00 gross for people working less than 20 hours per week
Applications can be made from 1pm on 21st August 2020 to 3rd September 2020. It is available nationally to all employers (incl self employed) who are financially impacted by the resurgence of COVID-19. Applications can be made online and all payments will be subject to audits & reviews.
You can apply for the Resurgence Wage Subsidy, even if you haven’t received either of the other Wage Subsidy’s.
Reduction of wages / salary paid to employees:
If you need to reduce the wages or salary you are paying to employees during Alert Levels 3 & 2 period eg from a 40 hour week to 30 hours, you must seek their agreement first, and it should be in writing.
Getting Employees to use their Annual Leave during Lockdown:
Employers cannot force employees to take annual leave during a lockdown. You must seek agreement with employees, if you want them to take annual leave. You can require them to take annual leave, provided you give them 14 days written notice.
Mortgage Deferral Scheme is also extended:
The Government approved scheme announced on 24th March 2020 has enabled customers to reduce or suspend mortgage repayments for up to 6 months (to 27th September 2020). The scheme was introduced so anyone affected by COVID-19 could apply & be accepted, without having to go through the bank’s hardship application process, to defer their loan & interest payments.
This scheme will now be extended until 31st March 2021. Interest on the loans continues to accrue. Customers need to contact their banks to arrange for a deferral on their mortgage payments.
Apprenticeship Boost is a payment to help employers keep & take on new apprentices. This means apprentices can keep earning & training towards their qualifications as the economy recovers from COVID-19.
Payments are made directly to employers & will have GST included, if you are GST registered.
Who can get it:
You can get Apprenticeship Boost if your apprentices are:
- actively training through a transitional Industry Training Organisation (ITO) or a provider
- training for a New Zealand Apprenticeship or Managed Apprenticeship recognised by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)
- in their first 24 months of training
Apprenticeship Boost can be paid to an employer, for an apprentice who is employed or contracted by you. You need to apply for your apprentice, and you need to have a training agreement between yourself, your apprentice and your TEC approved transitional ITO or provider.
Who cannot get it:
- if you are a State Sector employer
- if you are already getting another wage subsidy from Ministry of Social Development for this apprentice (eg the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy)
- if you are already getting a payment from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for this apprentice
Amount of payment:
You can get Apprenticeship Boost for a maximum of 20 months from the 5th of August 2020. It is paid in advance monthly.
How much you can get depends on whether your apprentice is in their first or second year of training:
- employers of first year apprentices can get $1,000 a month
- employers of second year apprentices can get $500 a month
These amounts don’t include GST. If you are GST registered, you will be paid the amount plus GST.
You must pay your apprentice at least the minimum or training wage.
This income is viewed as taxable income to the employer.
How to apply for the Boost payment:
Go to the following website & follow the instructions there. You need to apply for your 1st months payment. To keep getting monthly payments after this, you will need to reconfirm each month that your apprentice is still employed and training.