Government support for businesses as a result of escalation in alert levels
The latest lockdown triggers support for both businesses and individuals, with the Prime Minister calling on employers to check in on their employees and ensure that those who are unwell stay at home and get tested.
Short-term Absence Payment
The Short-term Absence Payment (SAP) is available for employers to assist their employees who have to isolate at home, but cannot work from home, while they wait for the results of a COVID-19 test. The SAP is also available for self-employed people in the same situation.
The SAP is a one-off payment of $350 per employee, and employers can apply for it once for each eligible employee in any 30-day period, unless the employee is directed by a health official or doctor to get another test within the same period.
The purpose of the SAP is to encourage those who have been tested to stay at home until they receive a negative test result.
Leave Support Scheme
The Leave Support Scheme (LSS) is available for employers and self-employed people where they or their employees have been advised to self-isolate, and they cannot work from home.
People may be required to self-isolate in a number of situations, including where they:
- have COVID-19; or
- have been directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or they have a dependent who has been directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health; or
- themselves or a dependant have been identified as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 and have therefore been advised to self-isolate by a medical practitioner or through the National Contact Tracing process; or
- have been advised to self-isolate by a medical practitioner because they are most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as defined in the Government’s public health guidance.
The LSS payment is paid as a lump sum and covers 2 weeks per employee from the date of application. It is paid at a flat rate of either $1,176.60 for full time employees (20 hours or more per week), or $700 for part time employees (less than 20 hours per week).
Resurgence Support Payment
The Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) is available to businesses that can demonstrate a 30% decline in revenue over a 7-day period after an escalation to Alert Level 2 or higher, and meet other criteria.
The RSP is paid to eligible businesses in a single lump-sum payment and is paid at the rate of the less of a base payment of $1500 plus $400 per full time employee, up to a maximum of 50 full time employees; or four times the actual revenue drop experienced by the business.
The Wage Subsidy (WS) will be available for businesses to support and pay their employees for the duration of the most recent escalation to Alert Level 3, rounded to the nearest fortnight. It is available to businesses throughout New Zealand. The payment rates are $585.50 for full time employees (20 hours or more per week), or $350 for part time employees (less than 20 hours per week).
Businesses may also be able to apply for other related support schemes, including the Business Finance Guarantee scheme, the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme, the Temporary Loss Carry-Back Scheme, and the Apprenticeship Boost Initiative. Each have their own purpose and requirements, and more information can be found here.
Want to know more?
If you have any questions about the support packages offered by the Government please contact our specialist Employment Team.
Note, this information is correct as at Monday, 1 March 2021. Please visit http://www.covid19.govt.nz or http://www.workandincome.govt.nz to find up to date information and apply for Government support, or get in touch with one of our team directly.