COVID-19 financial support for businesses

16 December 2020.

The Government has announced the support that will be available to New Zealand businesses if there's a resurgence of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme continues to be available.

The payment rates are:

  • $585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week (full-time rate)
  • $350 for people working less than 20 hours per week (part-time rate).

The Leave Support Scheme is for employees and self-employed people who meet certain criteria (for example workers who are sick with COVID-19 or meet the other eligibility criteria). A new Short-term Absence Payment will be available in mid-February for workers needing to stay at home while waiting for the result of a COVID-19 test.

COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment

A new COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment will be available from mid-February 2021 so businesses can keep paying eligible workers who:

  • cannot work from home and
  • have had a COVID-19 test and need to stay at home while waiting for their test results (in line with public health guidance).

Once available the payment will be a one-off amount of $350 for each eligible worker.

It will also be available to self-employed workers.

We'll update our website closer to when this payment is available.

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy

The Wage Subsidy Scheme will be in place if there is an escalation to Alert Levels 3 or 4 anywhere in New Zealand, for 7 days or more.

Payment rates will be:

  • $585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week (full-time rate)
  • $350.00 for people working less than 20 hours per week (part-time rate).

Support will be provided in two-weekly payments and total support will match the duration at Alert Level 3 or 4 rounded to the nearest fortnight.

As with the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy paid earlier this year, the payment is to support employers (or self-employed people) to pay their employees.

Resurgence Support Payment

A Resurgence Support Payment will also be available from late-February 2021 for eligible businesses throughout New Zealand, if there's a move to Alert Level 2. This one-off payment is to help businesses affected by the Alert Level upgrade with fixed costs.