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latest news from employers assistance

Wage Subsidy available now

Published 20 Aug 2021


Government has now opened the applications for the Wage Subsidy Scheme to assist employers through the current lockdown, therefore 3 of the 4 support schemes are now available.

Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS)

The WSS which is available nationally to support employers, so they can continue to pay employees and protect jobs for businesses affected by the move to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021.

Criteria to meet:

  • You must be an eligible employer;
  • Your business must be in New Zealand;
  • Your employees must be legally working in New Zealand and have given their permission to the employer to apply for the WSS;
  • Your business has had, or you predict will have, a decline in revenue that can be attributed to the effect of the move to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021 of at least a 40% over the period between 17 August 2021 and 30 August 2021 inclusive, (14 days) compared to a typical 14-day consecutive period of revenue in the six weeks (5 July – 16 August) immediately before the move to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021.
  • Employers with highly seasonal revenue: same as the above but can be compared to the same 14 consecutive days in 2020 and/or 2019. Proof of seasonal revenue nature is required.
  • You must have taken steps to mitigate the financial impact;
  • You must pay employees at least the wage subsidy amount, however you need to endeavour to top up their salary to at least 80% of their normal wage. If you cannot top up, reasons for this failure can be requested;
  • You must retain the employees you include in your application for the time period you receive the WSS

Practical steps:

  • Employees can request/agree to use their annual leave to top up the WSS payment or the 80% wage payment;
  • All agreements regarding payments must be in writing and should be reviewed as the lock down progresses. Please refer to the variation agreement on your Employers Toolbox and /or your in-house policies regarding leave;
  • If for whatever reason, you have a surplus of WSS, it can be used to top up other employees’ wages only, not for use with other business expenses;
  • The wage subsidy payment to the Employer is income tax exempt;
  • PAYE tax, KiwiSaver deductions and contributions for both the employee and employer must continue as normal;
  • Leave entitlements continue to accrue during this period.

Payment rates:

This will be paid as a two-week lump sum at the following rates;

  • $600.00 for people working 20 hours or more per week (full-time rate)
  • $359.00 for people working less than 20 hours per week (part-time rate).

Read the full declaration here;

All information regarding the WSS can be found here;

To apply now go here:

Resurgence Support Payment (RSP)

The RSP is a payment to assist businesses or organisations with one-off costs due to an Alert Level increase to level 2 or above. This is available to employers at the same time as the WSS and will open at 8am on the 24th of August 2021.

Leave Support Subsidy (LSS) is available here:

The Short-Term Absence Payment (STAP) are still open and available: