30th March, 2020
Following the release of several stimulus measures for employers and individuals, the Ardern Government has moved to amend its wages subsidy scheme to combine with leave subsidy payments.
UPDATE (6/4/20): We have since compiled an updated list of all New Zealand stimulus measures so far.
The New Zealand Government has once again amended its wages subsidy scheme, and has combined the program with its leave subsidy payments.
Previously, the Federal Government offered a sick leave subsidy, and a separate wages scheme. These have now been brought together into one payment.
The trigger for this change was the announcement of Alert Level 4 restrictions.
Additionally, the Government made it very clear that it doesn’t want to see any businesses skimming off the top of any wage subsidy before passing on to employees.
“This scheme is a high trust system in order to ensure that money reaches workers and businesses as soon as possible.
“We urge employers to use the money provided by the scheme for the purpose it was intended, to support the wages of their employees,” Minister of Finance Grant Robertson said late last week.
Applications for the subsidy are made on the Work and Income website.
The modified wage subsidy scheme is designed for companies to maintain an employment connection and ensure an income for affected employees, even if they aren’t working.
These categories of employees are eligible:
The payment rates are unchanged from the previous scheme.
The subsidy is a one-time lump sum payment, to cover 12 weeks.
Any business must show they have a 30 percent drop in revenue attributable to COVID-19.
The New Zealand Government has made clear that businesses should pay at least 80 percent of usual wages. But if that isn’t possible, they should pass on the entire wage subsidy.
If you’re an MYOB payroll user, then you should have everything you need to process the Government’s wage subsidy from your software.
Click one of the below to find a guide on how to process wage subsidies in the corresponding MYOB package:
If you plan on applying for the New Zealand subsidy, this is what you should know:
For additional information, the IRD website offers details on tax relief, while the Government has also set up a dedicated page covering financial support measures.