Work in NZ is already pretty heavily impacted by the arrival of coronavirus. With strong precautionary measures in place, a good chunk of our workforce will need to be away from their jobs over the coming weeks and months.
The government has introduced a wage subsidy to help employers keep their people on and stay afloat if business is hurting. Here’s what you need to know.
What is the Wage Subsidy and am I eligible?
- The wage subsidy is for businesses who’ve seen (or forecast) a decline of 30% or more in revenue (compared to last year) for any month from January 2020 - June 2020 are eligible. This includes sole traders, self-employed people, and new companies.
- The purpose of this is to help businesses cover wages during shutdown, and to ensure employers can retain their workers and stay afloat.
- You’ll receive $350 a week for employees working under 20 hours, and $585.80 a week for employees working 20 or more hours per week.
- You are expected to pay your employees 80% of their normal income. If this isn’t possible, you have to pass on at least the entire value of the subsidy, unless their normal weekly income is under the subsidy rate.
- If you applied for the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy for any employees after 4pm on 27 March 2020, you must retain those employees.
How can I apply for the Wage Subsidy and what happens next?
What information do I need on hand to apply for the Wage Subsidy?
- Company info - IRD Number, New Zealand Business Number, and contact details.
- Info on all of your employees, including IRD numbers and if they work more or less than 20 hours a week.
My employee has come back from overseas.
People returning from international travel will need to undergo a 14-day self isolation period. Here’s a really thorough guide to what self-isolation requires: COVID-19 Self-isolation. If an employee in isolation is able to work remotely, you can just treat this as normal working time.
You can’t let anybody come into work if they’re sick with COVID-19, or if they’re supposed to be self-isolating. If they do, they’re probably in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act. If you have a good reason to be worried about infection for your team, you have to instruct those people not to come to work.
How should I process my employee’s pay?
The wage subsidy will be paid straight to you to help you sustain paying your staff. You can continue paying your team as you normally would. PaySauce has a range of historical reports to help you calculate pays accurately.
We have a full guide to handling these payments through PaySauce available here.
Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone or fire through a message if you have any questions. Look after yourselves and each other.