Covid-19 Wage Subsidy for Employers

The government has put together a wage subsidy package for employers that are affected.

If you are an employer, contractor, sole trader, or self-employed you may qualify to get the COVID-19 wage subsidy. The wage subsidy is paid to the employer to assist in paying wages due to significant adverse effects from COVID-19. 

This is separate from the COVID-19 Leave Payment Scheme. See the leave payment scheme information here.

This article outlines the qualifying criteria and subsidy that will be paid if you qualify. 

Qualifying Criteria

  • your business must be registered and operating in New Zealand
  • your employees must be legally working in New Zealand
  • the business must have experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue over the period of a month when compared with the same month last year, and that decline is related to COVID-19. We can assist with this. Please contact us if this applies to you.
  • your business must have taken active steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19
  • you must make best efforts to retain employees and pay them a minimum of 80% of their normal income for the subsidised period.

The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy will be paid at a flat rate of:

  • $585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week
  • $350.00 for people working less than 20 hours per week.
  • The subsidy is paid as a lump sum and covers 12 weeks per employee.
  • This subsidy is for wages only. It is to help you keep your staff employed while you consider changes that may be needed while the disruption continues, and to ensure the future viability of your business.
  • The maximum subsidy that can be paid to a business is $150,000. Businesses can only get this subsidy once.

Y‚Äčou will need:

  • your IRD number
  • your business name
  • your business address
  • your New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)
  • the names of your employees
  • your employee IRD numbers
  • contact details for your business and your employees.

New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)

NZBN is a globally unique 13 digit number. 

To find your NZBN, if you are a company: type your business name in the search bar on this website

If you are a sole trader, partnership or trust you will need to apply for a NZBN here. You will need a New Zealand driver licence or NZ passport. 

We can help with this application process if needed. Please contact us. 

More Information

There is further information on Work and Income website here.

You can also download the factsheet for wage subsidy and leave payments from here.

Contact Us

Contact Tim Doyle or Jane Evans today for a no obligation phone call or meeting on 07 823 4980 or email us. Our office is in Cambridge, NZ, but distance is no problem. We have many international and national clients.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.


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