New Zealand
4 March 2021 | Minutes to read: 3

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy March 2021 is now available, and a second round of the Resurgence Support Payment has been announced

By William Buck

Applications for the Wage Subsidy open Thursday 4 March 2021, and payments start from Monday 8 March 2021.

The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme will be available nationwide if any part of the country moves to Alert Level 3 or above for seven days or more.

With Auckland moving to Alert Level 3 for seven days from 28 February 2021, businesses and self-employed people can apply for the Wage Subsidy so they can continue to pay employees and protect jobs.

To qualify for the Subsidy:

  • You must have experienced or expect a 40% drop in revenue over a consecutive 14-day period between 28 February 2021 and 21 March 2021, compared to a typical fortnightly revenue between 4 January 2021 and 14 February 2021 (six weeks before the rise in alert levels).
  • You will need to be able to show the revenue drop is due to the change in alert level, not just COVID-19 in general.

The Subsidy will be available to businesses throughout New Zealand.

The Wage Subsidy will be paid for two weeks at the rate of $585.80 a week for each full-time employee retained and $350 a week for each part-time employee retained.

If an employee is already receiving a payment under the Leave Support Scheme or Short-Term Absence Payment, you won’t be able to apply for the Wage Subsidy for that staff member for the period they are receiving other financial support.

For more information and to apply for the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy March 2021 please visit Work and Income’s website here.

COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) update

A new Resurgence Support Payment is available to businesses and organisations with reduced revenue due to the latest changes in COVID-19 Alert Levels. The Resurgence Support Payment is part of the Government’s COVID-19 support initiatives to help businesses cover expenses such as wages and fixed costs.

To qualify for the RSP:

  • You must have experienced a 30% drop in revenue over a seven-day period after the increased alert level. This drop is compared to a typical seven-day period in the six weeks before the increase in alert level.
  • You will also need to meet a range of other RSP eligibility criteria.

Applications for the RSP are currently open to businesses and organisations affected by the change in alert levels from 14 to 21 February 2021. Applicants must show the impact on their revenue is for this alert level period. Applications for the RSP close Monday 22 March 2021.

Eligible businesses and organisations can apply to receive the lesser of:

  • $1500 plus $400 per full time employee up to a maximum of 50 FTEs ($21,500), or
  • Four times the actual drop in revenue experienced by the applicant.

More information about the RSP can be found on our website here.

Second round of RSP will be available from 8 March

On 2 March, the Minister of Finance, Grant Robertson, announced the RSP will be available for businesses and organisations affected by the change in COVID alert levels that started on 28 February 2021. The payment must be used to cover business expenses such as wages and fixed costs.

Businesses will be able to apply for this payment on Inland Revenue’s website from 8 March. Applications will remain open for one month after a nationwide return to alert level 1.

Businesses and organisations affected by both periods of raised alert levels can apply for each round of Resurgence Support Payments.

How we can help

We continue to support our clients through this challenging period with key business and tax advice to answer their business-related questions and guide them through the COVID-19 financial support measures. Updates on government assistance and how we can help your business respond can be found on our Resource Page.

Should you need any additional support, please contact your local William Buck advisor – we’re here to help.

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  • COVID-19 Wage Subsidy March 2021 is now available, and a second round of the Resurgence Support Payment has been announced
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