Payment rates and processing times for COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

Full-time and part-time payment rates, and application processing timeframes for the Leave Support Scheme.

Payment rates

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:

  • $600.00 a week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week
  • $359 a week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week.

Subsidy rate if hours fluctuate

If you worked variable hours (or your employee did), you can use an average to work out what rate to apply for.

How to work it out

Use the average hours worked each week over the last 12 months.

If they (or you) have been working less than a year, use the average hours worked over an 8 week period, unless another period of time would be more appropriate.

For example, if the usual hours are better represented over the whole period of time they (or you) have been employed for, use this instead.

What rate to use

If the average hours are:

  • 20 or more, apply for the full-time rate
  • less than 20, apply for the part-time rate.

How long the payment covers

The Leave Support Scheme is paid as a lump sum and covers 2 weeks per employee. You can't apply for less than 2 weeks.

If you've been paid the Leave Support Scheme for an employee that returns to work in less than 2 weeks, you'll need to use the remaining amount to pay any other employees. This could be employees who are also unable to work due to COVID-19, or to top up the wages of employees receiving another COVID-19 payment from us and are getting paid less than their usual rate.

If you do not have other employees, or they're already being paid their normal wages, you'll need to repay the remaining amount.

Payment timeframes

We're working to process and make payments as quickly as we can.

We need to check the information you've given us is the same as what's held by Inland Revenue. If it isn't, there could be a delay.

We cannot give you information about the status of your application over the phone. We'll be in touch as soon as we can.


Inland Revenue is updating their systems between 21 and 28 October. This may delay some COVID-19 Leave Support scheme applications, because we need to verify your information with Inland Revenue. You can still apply during this time. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.

If your application includes employees you've re-applied for

If your application includes employees you've re-applied for, we'll check you've re-applied for them in the second week of the payment period.

If you've re-applied for them too early, we won't be able to process these employees in your application. You'll need to re-apply for these employees in the correct week (second week of the payment period).

We'll still process the other employees in your application.

If your application is approved

If your application's approved, we'll email you once the payment has been made. The email will tell you which employees the payment is being made for.

Your bank will use a specific reference - MSD COVID19T.

If you haven't received payment in your account, it may be because we don't have the right bank account number for you. If this is the case, the money will be returned to us and we'll call you.

If your application is declined

If your application's declined, we'll email you to let you know.

It could be declined because either:

  • the application was completed by an employee (not the employer)
  • you applied using the wrong application form
  • the details you gave us don't match those held by Inland Revenue (IR), or
  • you're already getting the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy or Short-Term Absence Payment (STAP) for the employees named in your application.

If you don't agree with our decision to decline your application, your email will tell you how you can get this reviewed.

If you are a state sector organisation and your application for the Leave Support Scheme has been declined, you'll need to contact your monitoring agency to discuss this.

If you have questions, you can call us on 0800 40 80 40