Wage Subsidy and Leave schemes
Wage Subsidy Scheme
The Wage Subsidy Scheme helped employers recover from the effects of COVID-19. It helped employers to keep their staff employed and ensured an income for affected employees for up to 12 weeks.
You can no longer apply for the Wage Subsidy Scheme. You may be able to get the Wage Subsidy Extension if you are still impacted by COVID-19.
Wage Subsidy Extension
A Wage Subsidy Extension payment is available to support employers, including sole traders, who are still significantly impacted by COVID-19 after the Wage Subsidy ends.
It supports employers to continue to pay your employees.
The Wage Subsidy Extension will be available to employers for 8 weeks, between 10 June 2020 and 1 September 2020, so you can keep paying your employees. It will be paid to you as a lump sum at the same weekly rate as the Wage Subsidy.
Employers can apply for the Wage Subsidy Extension once you have finished paying your employees the original 12 week Wage Subsidy.
To be eligible, your business must have had a revenue loss of at least 40% for a continuous 30 day period. This period needs to be in the 40 days before you apply, but no earlier than 10 May 2020, and must be compared to the closest period last year.
COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme
The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme provides a payment to businesses to pay their workers who need to take leave due to COVID-19 public health guidance.
Business Finance Guarantee scheme
Small and medium-sized businesses may be eligible for Business Finance Guarantee scheme. The scheme helps businesses access credit to support operating cashflow disrupted by COVID-19.
Participating banks can provide to eligible businesses:
- new loans
- increased limits to existing loans
- revolving credit facilities.
The scheme supports banks to take on lending by the Government taking on the default risk of up to 80% of the loan.
Lending decisions are made by banks. Borrowers must still pay the loan back — with interest — as they would normally.
Business cash flow and tax measures
Inland Revenue has information on a range of measures to help businesses as they recover. These include:
- greater flexibility for taxpayers in respect of statutory tax deadlines
- changes to the tax loss continuity rules
- a tax loss carry-back scheme
- measures to support commercial tenants and landlords
- further business consultancy support.
Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme
Inland Revenue will provide interest-free loans for a year to small businesses as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme will provide assistance of up to $100,000 to firms employing 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.
Loans will be interest-free if they’re paid back within a year. The interest rate will be 3% for a maximum term of 5 years. Repayments are not required for the first 2 years.
Insolvency relief for businesses
The Companies Office offers relief for companies and other entities facing difficulties in complying with their statutory obligations, or obligations under their constitutions or rules, as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Business Debt Hibernation scheme allows businesses to place their existing debts on hold for up to 7 months to help them start trading normally again.
Company directors facing significant liquidity problems can also seek a safe harbour from sections 135 and 136 of the Companies Act 1993.
Information on how you can access the insolvency relief and the requirements that you’ll need to meet is available on the Companies Office website.
Apprenticeship Boost Initiative
Support will be available to employers of first and second year apprentices in a Tertiary Education Commission-approved New Zealand Apprenticeship or Managed Apprenticeship programme.
The amount that can be claimed will vary depending on when an apprentice started their training programme and when they reach 24 months. Employers can claim:
- $1,000 a month for eligible apprentices in the first 12 months of their training programme
- $500 a month in the second 12 months of their training programme.
Funding will be available from August 2020 until April 2022.
Employers are required to top up the funding they receive to ensure their apprentices receive at least the minimum or training wage they are legally entitled to.