COVID-19 support for employers

Find out about business support during COVID-19. You can apply for financial support to contribute to the costs of the wages or salaries of your employees or yourself, if you're self-employed. Remember to stick to employment law even if the traffic light settings change.

You can apply for different business support if COVID-19 affects your business, as long as you meet the criteria and agree to meet your obligations. Most of the support payments you can apply for are to contribute to the costs of the wages or salaries of your employees and protect jobs. You can also apply if you are self-employed.

Your employees can’t apply for these employer payments. You need to name the employees you are applying for when you make your application.

You don’t need to apply for payments for all your employees. You don’t need to apply at all if you don’t want or need to.

If you get payments from these support schemes, you must continue to pay the wages or salaries of the employees named in your application. This is set out in the declaration you make when you apply.

Whatever you do, you still need to stick to employment law and privacy law.

COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

You can get help towards wages and salary costs if your employee is self-isolating and can’t work at home. This scheme also covers wages if your employee’s household includes anyone who is self-isolating or in a high-risk group.

Self-employed people can also apply for the Leave Support Scheme.

Leave Support Scheme

COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment

Get support towards wage and salary costs if your employee can’t work while waiting for a COVID-19 test result. This helps your employee stay at home if anyone in their household is waiting for a test result.

Self-employed people can apply for the Short-Term Absence Payment too.

Short-Term Absence Payment

Resurgence Support Payment

Applications have now closed for Inland Revenue’s Resurgence Support Payment.

Resurgence Support Payment from Inland Revenue

Ended COVID-19 support

Some COVID-19 payments that support employers, employees and others have ended.

Business support that has ended

Legal obligations

As an employer, you need to stick to the law during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employment law and privacy law still apply during COVID-19, even at different traffic light settings. Your employees still have legal rights you must meet. Your tax may also be affected if you get COVID-19 support.

COVID-19 Protection Framework and the workplace from Employment New Zealand

Employee rights during COVID-19

Employment agreements

You need to stick to employment law and employment agreements you already have. This includes how much you normally pay your employees.

If you want to change the employment agreement of any of your employees, you first need to discuss this with them. Your employees need to agree to any changes to their employment agreements, and any changes must be in writing.

Changing employment agreements from Employment New Zealand

Consent and privacy

When you apply for COVID-19 payments that need the personal details of your employees, you need to stick to privacy laws.

When you apply, you need to:

  • first get consent from any employees whose names you give
  • tell these named employees what happens with your application.

You need to make sure any employees you name in your applications understand:

  • we may share their information with other government departments and other organisations
  • they can ask to see your application information under the Privacy Act 2020.

Your privacy responsibilities at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Applying for COVID-19 payments

Each time you apply for any COVID-19 business support, you make a declaration. The declaration includes the:

  • criteria you need to meet to apply
  • need to prepare and keep evidence to support your application
  • repayment process if you find you don’t need the payments
  • obligation that you use the money to pay your employees.

If you do not follow the requirements in the declaration you make, you may find yourself facing civil proceedings or criminal prosecution.

See more about repayments and enforcement

Tax obligations

If you get any COVID-19 payments, your business and personal taxes may be affected. Inland Revenue can help you understand more about your taxes during COVID-19.

Tax and COVID-19 information at Inland Revenue


This is a summary only. If there is any difference between the information on this page and the information in the relevant declaration, the declaration prevails.