New Zealand opens new wage subsidy applications

Finance minister Grant Robertson has announced that employers can start to apply for the latest government wage subsidies.
By: | March 4, 2021

The scheme provides subsidies to employers, enabling them to retain their staff during lockdowns due to the pandemic. It was launched ahead of the first lockdown last year and has so far paid out NZ$14 billion (US$10.2 billion). It has been credited with protecting jobs and cushioning the economic impact of the outbreak. 

Robertson promised last December that the scheme would be deployed again when any region of the country was in a level 3 or 4 lockdown for a week or longer. 

To be eligible for the subsidies, businesses must provide proof of a 40% fall in revenue in relation to a typical fortnight’s revenue from the six weeks before the first alert level escalation on February 14. 

The amount of subsidy per week is NZ$585.80 (US$426) for each full-time employee and NZ$350 (US$254) for each part-time employee. 

“Firms throughout New Zealand can still apply for the Resurgence Support Payment from Inland Revenue for the 14 to 21 February period as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. The last day to apply is 22 March,” Robertson said. 

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Applications for this round of wage subsidies can be made at the Ministry of Social Development, said social development minister Carmel Sepuloni. 

He added that businesses can apply for the wage subsidy from 1pm Thursday, March 4, and the subsidies will be paid out from Monday, March 8, according to Stuff.