You all know the background to this stuff. We won’t bore you with how we got here or what here is. You’re living it every day. We are too and what is laid out in this blog is the stuff that as a business we have had to contend with: How do we cope with this and how do we treat our most valuable resource.

Incredibly, considering what has been going on and how quickly it developed, the New Zealand Government announced as early as two weeks ago what they would do to help us look after our staff. The wage subsidy and leave payments are likely to be one of the keys to success here and if you have not applied; do so now (visit We will wait…

If you get stuck, don’t stew on it. It’s not because you’re dumb, it is because you’re stressed out of your mind; call us. We can help.

Same goes for anything right now. Just call. We're not the Citizens’ Advice Bureau or your mate Brian, but we’re here if you need to chat. 30 minutes free phone consultation.

If you would rather just read about it then, read away:

Wage Subsidy

The wage subsidy has been put in place to support employers in all regions of New Zealand. The subsidy is for paying staff only (not suppliers such as your landlord (visit this link to read about how to deal with your landlord), and is designed to help employers keep their staff employed during this time and to ensure the future viability of New Zealand businesses.

The wage subsidy applies to all New Zealand employers, contractors, sole traders, self-employed people, registered charities and incorporated societies.

Employers can apply for the subsidy for all employees. However, businesses can only get this subsidy once; though there is (as at 27 March 2020) no cap.

To qualify for the wage subsidy:

  • 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;

  • Your business must have taken active steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19; and

  • 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 is intended to cover 12 weeks per employee; though should you wish to apply it all in one lump sum in one month and keep up the balance of your obligations above (in particular to pay your staff a minimum 80%) then that is over to you. You just need to understand

that you have received the money on the basis that it covers 12 weeks of wages and you have undertaken to adhere to the terms.

Leave Payment

Leave payment is available for those who have been directly impacted by COVID-19.

Leave Payment will be available to support people financially if they:

  • Need to self-isolate (as determined by the Ministry of Health guidelines),

  • Cannot work because they are sick with COVID-19, or

  • Cannot work because they are caring for dependents who are required to self-isolate or are sick with COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Leave Payment will be available for 8 weeks from 17 March 2020. Employers will be able to apply for this more than once. The Leave payment will be paid to employers who have eligible employees and they must pass the payment onto their employees in full.

The COVID-19 leave payment will be paid at a flat rate of:

  • $585.80 to a person working 20 hours or more per week

  • $350.00 to a person working less than 20 hours per week.

Employers receiving the payment for employees who are required to self-isolate can receive it for 14 days. As people may be required to self-isolate more than once, employers will be able to apply for this on an ‘as needed’ basis. It can be paid for the entire period an employee is sick (or looking after a dependent person who is sick) with COVID-19 but the employer must apply every 14 days.

Still unsure? Reach out to us on 07 929 4300, email or head to our contact page to have one of the team get in touch with you.