New Zealand reinstates wage subsidy amid lockdown

As the country raises its COVID-19 alert to level 4, the government is planning to reinstate the wage subsidy.
By: | August 19, 2021

This was announced by finance minister Grant Robertson who added that applications for the subsidy will open this Friday if the country is still in lockdown mode by then. 

All businesses in the country can apply for the subsidy if they expect to experience a 40% loss of revenue due to alert level 4.  

Businesses will be eligible for NZ$600 (US$416) per week per full-time employee and NZ$359 (US$249) per week per part-time employee. Businesses can expect payments to reach them within three days of their application, said Robertson. 

The COVID-19 resurgence support payment will also be reinstated, allowing businesses to get up to NZ$1,500 (US$1,040), plus an extra NZ$400 (US$277) per employee up to a maximum of 50 full-time employees. 

“This was the scheme we had in place in Wellington recently… It is different to the wage subsidy scheme as it does not have to be applied directly to wages. This can be used for other costs that businesses have,” said Robertson. 

READ: New Zealand’s wage inflation rises 2.1% in the year-to-June quarter

Businesses can apply for both subsidies. The wage subsidy application can be made via the Work and Income website, while the resurgence application will be via the Inland Revenue site. 

This move comes as the entire country is on COVID-19 alert level 4 for at least three days – with Auckland and Coromandel expected to be in lockdown for seven days, according to Newshub.