In light of the recent change in alert levels, the Government has updated the financial assistance available to individuals, businesses, and organisations.
Resurgence Support Payment
The Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) is to help support viable and ongoing businesses or organisations that are facing a reduction in income due to a COVID-19 alert level increase to level 2 or higher.
When the COVID-19 alert level is elevated from Level 1, the Government may decide to activate the Resurgence Support Payment. It will generally be activated when the period of an elevated alert level is 7 days or longer, but this is not guaranteed. Once the RSP has been activated it will be available nationally, even if the alert level isn't increased across the whole country.
Applications for the payment will open in myIR for eligible businesses and organisations 7 days after the alert level increase. They will remain open for one month after the return to alert level 1.
To be eligible for this support your business or organisation must meet all of the following criteria:
- experienced at least a 30% drop in revenue or a 30% decline in capital raising ability over a 7 day period to the increased Covid-19 alert level compared with a typical 7 day revenue period in the 6 weeks prior to the increase from alert level 1. All 7 days must be within the period of the increased alert level.
- must have been in business for at least 6 months.
- must be considered viable and ongoing.
- businesses or organisations with common ownership (commonly owned groups) must apply as one group and the revenue drop test is measured across the group as a whole. If the group meets the revenue drop test and the other eligibility criteria, it would be entitled to a single payment based on the number of employees in the whole group (up to a maximum of 50 full-time equivalent employees).
- charities and not-for-profit organisations may be entitled to the RSP, provided they meet the other eligibility requirements.
- income that is received passively – such as interest and dividends, and all forms of residential and commercial rent – is excluded from the measurement of revenue.
The RSP amount is dependent on the number of full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) you have, and your level of revenue.
The RSP is calculated as $1,500 plus $400 per FTE (up to 50 FTE). The maximum payment is $21,500. Sole traders can receive a payment of up to $1,900.
- employees working up to 20 hours per week are considered part-time (0.6 FTE)
- employees working 20 hours or more per week are considered full-time (1.0 FTE)
Businesses with low revenue will have their payment capped at four times (4x) the amount their revenue has dropped over the 7-day period. For example, if your business has 3 FTEs, they would be entitled to $2,700. However, if their revenue drop was $500, their RSP payment would be limited to $2,000.
Wage Subsidy March 2021
The Wage Subsidy March 2021 is a payment to support employers and self-employed people, so they can continue to pay employees and protect jobs for businesses affected by the rise in alert levels on 28 February 2021.
To qualify, your business needs to experience a 40% decline in revenue over a consecutive 14-day period between 28 February and 21 March, compared to a typical 14-day period between 4 January and 14 February 2021 (6 weeks before the change in Alert Levels). This is available to businesses throughout New Zealand.
Applications will be open from 1 pm Thursday 4 March 2021.
The Wage Subsidy March 2021 will be paid for 2 weeks at the rate of:
- $585.80 a week for each full-time employee retained (20 hours a week or more)
- $350 a week for each part-time employee retained (less than 20 hours a week).
You cannot get a Wage Subsidy for an employee for the period they're covered by a Leave Support Scheme or Short-Term Absence Payment.
Short term absence payment
The COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay their workers who cannot work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result.
The Short-Term Absence Payment is available from 9 February 2021. It’s to help businesses keep paying eligible workers who:
- cannot work from home, and
- need to miss work to stay home while waiting for a COVID-19 test result (in line with public health guidance), or
- are the parent or caregiver of a dependent who is staying home while waiting for the Covid-19 test results and the dependant needs support to do so safely, or
- have a household member or secondary contact of someone who is a close contact of a person with Covid-19, and the worker has been advised to stay at home while waiting for the close contacts test results
This is a one-off payment of $350 for each eligible worker. You can only apply for it once, for each eligible worker, in any 30-day period (unless a health official or doctor tells the worker to get another test).
Leave Support Scheme
The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is available for employers, including self-employed people, to help pay their employees who need to self-isolate for 14 days and cannot work from home.
This means your workers:
- cannot come into work because they are in one of the affected groups and have been told to self-isolate (in line with the Ministry of Health Guidelines), and
- cannot work from home.
The affected groups include people who are:
- sick with Covid-19
- identified as being in close contact with someone who has Covid-19
- the parent or caregiver of a dependent who has been told to self-isolate for a period by the doctor or health official and the dependent needs support to do so safely
- considered higher risk if they contract Covid-19 and a doctor has told them to self-isolate
- have household members who are considered “higher risk” if they contract Covid-19 and a doctor has told them to self-isolate
The Leave Support Scheme is paid as a 2-week lump sum per eligible employee.
The Leave Support Scheme is paid at a flat rate of:
- $585.80 a week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week
- $350 a week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week.
If you have any questions about this or think any of these may be applicable to you please get in touch with us.