COVID-19: Wage subsidy extension eligibility tool

Use this tool to better understand your eligibility and how to apply for the COVID-19 wage subsidy extension scheme.

Auckland is at Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2. Restrictions are in place for businesses to keep workers and customers safe.

Auckland is at Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2. Restrictions are in place for businesses to keep workers and customers safe.

All businesses can operate, provided they can meet the rules to operate safely, just as they normally do to meet their duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Government agencies won’t make these decisions for businesses.

For more information, check out the page for Workplace operations at COVID-19 Alert Levels.

A wage subsidy extension became available on 10 June 2020. Applications close 1 September 2020 at 11.59pm.

Work and Income has more information on the wage subsidy extension.

COVID-19 wage subsidy extension (external link) — Work and Income

You can apply for the wage subsidy extension if your business or you, as a contractor or sole trader, has experienced a continued loss of income due to COVID-19. This subsidy is open to all businesses, all sectors and all regions and it's intended to help you pay your staff or yourself, as a contractor.

This tool helps you to check your eligibility for the wage subsidy extension, which requires at least a 40% decline in revenue for a 30-day period in the 40 days before you apply. Where possible, your decline in revenue should be compared to the closest period last year. High-growth firms or those operating for less than a year are able to use different comparison periods. The original wage subsidy expires 12 weeks from when you submitted your application. Eligible employers will need to apply for the wage subsidy extension through Work and Income once their original 12-week subsidy has come to an end. Applications close at 11.59pm on 1 September 2020.

Note: If you receive the wage subsidy and/or wage subsidy extension, it’s important that you submit to Inland Revenue:

  • Employer Information forms declaring the total wage payments (the subsidy plus employer-funded pay) and
  • Relevant PAYE and other deductions. 

Wage subsidies (external link) — Inland Revenue


Who can get the Wage Subsidy Extension (external link) – Work and Income

Step One. Have you already applied for the wage subsidy scheme?

Note: If you have submitted an application but are still awaiting payment please select Yes.

Step Two. Has your current wage subsidy come to an end?

This will be 12 weeks from the date you applied for the wage subsidy scheme.

Note: If you made multiple applications, your employees may become eligible to receive the extension at different times.

For example, if you applied for 20 employees and then again a week later for 5 employees, you will need to make an application for the initial 20 employees and then wait a week to apply for the other 5 staff members. You can also wait and apply for all your staff once your second group’s subsidy has come to an end.

Step Three. Do you have staff or employees?

Tip: If more than one person is receiving wages, salary or drawings from your business, eg staff or a director, your answer should be Yes. If you are the only person your business pays, your answer should be No. Contractors should apply for themselves and select No as a self-employed person.

If your staff or employees have changed since you applied for the wage subsidy, you may apply for all current staff or employees on the date of your application. You can’t claim the extension for those that have been given a redundancy notice, unless you withdraw it.

Employers who receive the wage subsidy or wage subsidy extension must keep employing the employees named in their application for the entire time they are receiving the subsidy.

Wage subsidy scheme (external link)  — Employment New Zealand

Note: You will need your staff or employees IRD numbers for the application.

Step Four. Is your revenue down at least 40% for a 30-day period in the past 40 days because of COVID-19 compared to the same time last year?

If you are an NGO, not-for-profit, or new business without recorded revenue from 2019, you may make a comparison against a similar time period. You will need to have been in business for at least 60 days to apply for the wage subsidy extension.

Tip: The 30 days should be after 10 May 2020 and within the 40 days prior to the date you apply.

If you are a pre-revenue business, talk to Callaghan Innovation about your options.

Key information about COVID-19 (external link)  — Callaghan Innovation

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