Covid-19 Relief for New Zealand businesses
At 1.40pm on Monday 23 March 2020 New Zealand’s Alert level was increased to level 3 and is moving to Alert level 4 in 48 hours. This means non-essential businesses must close for at least four weeks while the country is on lockdown. Essential services are defined as: supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics and lifeline utilities. See the full list.
The New Zealand Government relief package is intended to help you manage short-term cash flow challenges, retain your employees and support business continuity through a wage subsidy. The wage subsidy is for employers, contractors, sole traders or self-employed people.
The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy will be paid at a flat rate of:
- $585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week
- $350.00 for people working less than 20 hours per week.
The subsidy is paid as a lump sum and covers 12 weeks per employee.
- You could be eligible if you or your team have to self-isolate but can’t work from home, along with those caring for relatives who are sick with the virus (even if the carer isn’t sick.
- Businesses that are badly affected by the virus (i.e. experiencing more than a 30% decline in revenue compared to last year) will be eligible to receive wage subsidies to keep paying staff.
- Full-time workers will receive $585 per week under the scheme (currently set to end on 30 June 2020) with $350 paid to part-time workers.
- Those required to self-isolate or care for someone who is sick will receive the same amount.
There are also tax relief options available for small businesses – if you have a tax agent it’s recommended that you chat to them before taking any other action.