New Zealand announces more support for business and workers

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Wellington, March 3, 2021

New Wage Subsidy Scheme opens in New Zealand

The government has confirmed details of Covid-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend.

In response to two new community cases of Covid-19, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand to Alert Level 2 on Sunday, February 28, 2021 for seven days.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Grant Robertson said that companies throughout

New Zealand can still apply for the Resurgence Support Payment from Inland Revenue for the February 14 to February 21, 2021 period as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

The last day to apply is March 22, 2021, he said.

Nationwide Wage Subsidy

“The increase in Alert Levels on Sunday, February 28, 2021 has activated a new round of support, which now includes a nationwide Covid-19 Wage Subsidy as Auckland will be at alert level 3 for at least a week,” he said.

Mr Robertson said that businesses can apply for the Wage Subsidy from the Ministry of Social Development from 1pm on Thursday, March 4, 2021.

Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni said that payments will begin from Monday, March 8, 2021, to support employers (or self-employed people) to pay their employees and protect jobs.

Criteria for payment

“This payment is available to all businesses in New Zealand that meet the eligibility criteria, not just those in Auckland, to recognise that firms throughout the country may have their revenue affected by Auckland being in higher alerts levels for longer.”

Mr Robertson said that a further Resurgence Support Payment from Inland Revenue has also been activated with the move to the higher alert levels on Saturday.

“Applications open on March 8, 2021. Businesses that meet the criteria are able to apply for both the Resurgence Support Payment and the Wage Subsidy Scheme,” he said.

Businesses can apply for the Resurgence Support Payment by logging into their MyIR account. Further information can be found at www.ird.govt.nz

Resurgence Support Payment (by IRD)”

In order to qualify for the payment businesses must show a 30% drop in revenue over a seven-day period at higher alert levels compared with a typical similar revenue period in the six weeks prior to the Alert Level rise. The six-week comparator period will be taken as before 14 February in response to a request by business.

If it is a seasonal business applying, they must show a 30% revenue drop compared with a similar week the previous year.

The payment includes a core per business rate of $1500 plus $400 per employee up to a total of 50 FTEs. That is a maximum payment of $21,500.

Wage Subsidy (by the Ministry of Social Development)

In order to qualify employers must show a 40% decline in revenue in relation to the typical fortnightly revenue in the six weeks prior to the Alert Level escalation to Alert Level 3 that occurred on February 14, 2021.

Support will be provided in two-weekly payments and total support will match the duration at Alert Level 3 or 4 rounded to the nearest fortnight.

The payment period will commence from Monday March 8, 2021 for employers that apply early, and from the date of application for employers that apply between March 8 and March 21, 2021. Employers must meet their obligations under the Declaration during their payment period.

Payment rates of $585.80 per week for each fulltime employee are retained, as is $350 per part-time employee or up to their normal part-time wage.

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