The West Coast is at Alert Level 2. COVID-19 Business Support
The West Coast is currently at Alert Level 2
Auckland is at Alert Level 3. The rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2.
Rules for business at Alert Level 2
- Reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at work.
- All businesses can operate if they can do so safely. Alternative ways of working are encouraged where possible.
- Talk with your staff to identify risks and ways to manage them.
- Ask everyone — workers, contractors and customers — with cold or flu-like symptoms to stay away from your premises.
- Keep workers 1 metre apart and customers in retail businesses 2 metres apart.
- Keep groups of customers at least 1 metre apart, or 2 metres for retail businesses.
- Businesses are legally required to display a QR code and provide an alternative contact tracing system.
- Face coverings are strongly encouraged if you are in close contact with others.
- Reduce the number of shared surfaces, and regularly disinfect them.
- Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
Wage Subsidy Scheme
If your business cannot operate because of Alert Level 3 or 4 restrictions or you will lose revenue, you can apply for the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy scheme to help keep paying your staff. The Wage Subsidy Scheme will be available for all businesses who meet the eligibility criteria while any part of the country is in Alert Levels 3 or 4.
Businesses and self-employed people must expect a 40% drop in revenue to be eligible to receive the wage subsidy.
The wage subsidy is paid in a 2 week lump sum. You can get:
- $600 per week for each full-time employee
- $359 per week for each part-time employee
Applications for the second August 2021 Wage Subsidy are open for two weeks between 3 September 2021 and 11.59pm Thursday 16 September 2021.
- If you did not apply for the first Wage Subsidy you can apply for second one if you meet eligibility criteria.
- If you've already applied for the previous COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021, you need to wait until two weeks after you applied before you can apply for the new Wage Subsidy #2, even if you haven't received a payment yet.
- If you apply earlier than this, your application for the new subsidy will be declined.
COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment
The COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment helps to cover wages and fixed costs for businesses who have been directly affected when there is an increase to Alert Level 2 or higher for a week or more.
To be eligible, your business must have experienced at least a 30% drop in revenue or a 30% decline in capital-raising ability over a 7-day period, due to an increase in Alert Levels.
You can receive $1,500 per business plus $400 per full-time employee (FTE), up to 50 FTE.
The maximum payment is $21,500.
If you're a sole trader, you can receive a payment of up to $1,900.
Applications for the COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment will remain open for one month after all of New Zealand returns to Alert Level 1.
COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme
If your employees have been told by a health official to self-isolate and they cannot work from home, you can can apply for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme for them. You can also apply if you are self-employed or a sole trader.
The scheme means employees and self-employed people receive an income if they cannot work from home while they’re self-isolating.
The COVID-19 Leave Support is paid as a lump sum, calculated to cover 2 weeks. You can re-apply after this time if your employees still qualify.
If your employees work in health, disability or aged-care facilities or services and they have COVID-19 symptoms, you can tell them to self-isolate while they wait to get a test or they are waiting for their test results. They will still be eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme.
Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme
Organisations and small-to-medium businesses, including sole traders and the self-employed, may be eligible for a one-off loan with a term of 5 years if they have been adversely affected by COVID-19.
The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme provides assistance to firms employing 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees. The maximum amount that can be borrowed is $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time-equivalent employee and only one amount can be drawn down.
Loans will be interest-free if they’re paid back within 2 years. The interest rate will be 3% for a maximum term of 5 years. Repayments are not required for the first 2 years.
Applications are open until 31 December 2023.
Insolvency relief for businesses
The Companies Office offers relief for companies and other entities facing difficulties in complying with their statutory obligations, or obligations under their constitutions or rules, as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Business Debt Hibernation scheme allows businesses to place their existing debts on hold for up to 7 months to help them start trading normally again.
Information on how you can access the insolvency relief and the requirements that you’ll need to meet is available on the Companies Office website.
Apprenticeship Boost Initiative
Support will be available to employers of first and second year apprentices in a Tertiary Education Commission-approved New Zealand Apprenticeship or Managed Apprenticeship programme.
The amount that can be claimed will vary depending on when an apprentice started their training programme and when they reach 24 months. Employers can claim:
- $1,000 a month for eligible apprentices in the first 12 months of their training programme
- $500 a month in the second 12 months of their training programme.
Funding will be available until April 2022.
Employers are required to top up the funding they receive to ensure their apprentices receive at least the minimum or training wage they are legally entitled to.
The shift back to Alert Level 4 is a stressful time for business owners and employees. If you feel you’re not coping, it’s important to talk with a health professional.
There are helplines available that offer support, information and help. All services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.