Wage Subsidy and Leave schemes
Wage Subsidy Scheme
The Wage Subsidy Scheme will help employers recover from the effects of COVID-19. The scheme helps employers to keep their staff employed and ensures an income for affected employees for up to 12 weeks, even if the employee is unable to actually work any hours. It is also available to sole traders and contractors.
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 eight 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 the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme to protect jobs and support the economy to recover. Participating approved banks will provide targeted new loans or increase limits to existing loans for eligible businesses, to help them recover.
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 five years. Repayments are not required for the first two 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 seven 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.
Financial support tool
You can use the financial support tool to find out what financial help may be available to you.
The tool will take you, step by step, through a series of questions to find out your personal circumstances:
- your work status, for example, employer
- your situation, for example, business is unable to operate
- whether your workplace has reduced business.
The tool will then tell you what financial help and support you could access, and where you can apply or find more information.