Guidance for employers and business owners
As of midnight, Tuesday 24 March, New Zealand is at Covid-19 Alert Level 4.
Non-essential businesses must close
All events and gatherings must be cancelled
Schools will close completely
Workplaces must implement alternative working with everyone who can to work from home
No discretionary domestic air travel between regions
Public transport for people undertaking essential services and transport of freight only
Information on what is an essential business can be found on the COVID19.govt.nz website.
(Note: "essential" is currently defined as "supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics" but according to Stuff, "The government have said this list is not prescriptive and will be reviewed over the coming days.")
Economic Response Package and Eligibility
Government support for businesses affected by COVID-19 includes:
wage subsidy scheme
leave and self-isolation support
business cash flow and tax measures
wider $12.1 billion package.
Wage subsidies will be available for businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19 including:
employers that are struggling to retain employees
post settlement governance entities
new businesses less than a year old.
For businesses older than 12 months old wage subsidies will be available for those who can show a 30% decline in revenue, attributable to COVID-19, for any four weeks between January and June 2020 compared to the year before. This includes forecasting future months.
For businesses less than 12 months old, the wage subsidy will be available for those who can show a 30% decline in revenue, attributable to COVID-19, against a similar time period (ie 30% loss of income when comparing January 2020 to March 2020).
Businesses that have had a significant increase in revenue over the past yearare eligible, where they can show a 30% decline in revenue, attributable to COVID-19, against a similar time period (ie 30% loss of income when comparing January 2020 to March 2020).
People who are self-employed and have variable monthly incomes are eligible if they can show a 30% decline in revenue, attributable to COVID-19, against the previous years’ monthly average (ie 30% loss of income comparing March 2020 to the average monthly income in the period March 2019 to March 2020).
The subsidy is for 12 weeks. It is:
$585.80 per week for a full-time employee (20 hrs or more)
$350.00 per week for a part-time employee (less than 20 hrs).
The payment will be made as a lump sum. This means employers will receive a payment of $7,029.60 for a full time employee and $4,200 for a part time employee.
More information on who qualifies for the wage subsidy, definitions for wage subsidy qualifications, and how to apply, can be found from Work and Income. You may also need a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) to apply.