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COVID-19: Wage subsidy extension and leave support

Information about the wage subsidy extension and the leave support scheme. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply. Applications close 1 September 2020 at 11.59pm.

Wage subsidy extension

The wage subsidy extension helps businesses affected by COVID-19, and supports businesses and their staff to maintain an employment connection. It:

  • supports employers adversely affected by COVID-19, so that they can continue to pay their employees
  • supports workers to ensure they continue to receive income.

Who can apply for the wage subsidy extension

The wage subsidy extension is available to all businesses adversely affected by COVID-19 including:

  • self-employed
  • contractors
  • sole traders
  • registered charities
  • incorporated societies
  • post-settlement governance entities
  • pre-revenue research and development start-up companies that are seed or venture capital backed. 

The subsidy is generally not available to State sector organisations. These organisations should contact their monitoring agency if they wish to discuss an exception to become eligible to apply.


The Wage subsidy extension provides an 8-week payment per named employee. Businesses must have experienced a minimum 40% decline in revenue over a 30-day period within 40 days prior to applying for the extension, compared to the closest period last year. There are different periods for organisations where this calculation is not possible, such as new businesses or pre-revenue firms.

The Wage subsidy extension is now available. Eligible employers will need to reapply through Work and Income once their original 12-week wage subsidy has come to an end. The end date of your original subsidy is 12 weeks after the date you submitted your application.

Visit Work and Income for more information.

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Extension (external link) — Work and Income

Before receiving a subsidy, you must take active steps to manage the implications of COVID-19 on your business. This might include talking with your bank, making an insurance claim, or activating your business continuity plan.

Business continuity planning

To see if you are eligible for the subsidy, follow these steps.

  1. Use the Wage subsidy extension eligibility tool to assess your eligibility
  2. Apply for the Wage subsidy extension on the Work and Income website (external link) . They will verify the information you provide in your application with Inland Revenue.
We recommend that you ensure your IR details are up to date before applying for the subsidy

We recommend that you ensure your IR details are up to date before applying for the subsidy

You can check online at the Inland Revenue website (external link) .

Leave support scheme

Support is available for employers who meet the eligibility criteria to pay employees in situations where employees need to stay away from work due to public health guidance and can’t work from home. Employers can make the application for support to pay employees. The self-employed or contractors can apply directly.

COVID-19 Leave support (external link)  — Work and Income

Employment New Zealand has more information about employer and worker eligibility, payment details and guidance about workplace scenarios.

COVID-19 Leave support scheme (external link)  — Employment New Zealand

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