Employee information for COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Extension

This subsidy has ended, but there's other support you can apply for.


The Wage Subsidy Extension was available from 10 June 2020 to 1 September 2020. It was for employers and self-employed people who would otherwise have had to lay off staff or reduce their hours due to COVID-19.

This payment is no longer available. Find out what other support we offer for businesses.

Your employer can't get more than one COVID-19 payment from us for the same employee at the same time. This includes the:

  • Wage Subsidy
  • Leave Support Scheme, and
  • Wage Subsidy Extension.
  • Wage Subsidy Extension applications

    Your employer needs to apply for the Wage Subsidy Extension and there are certain criteria they need to meet.

    • If you're working multiple jobs, each of your employers may be able to get the Wage Subsidy Extension to help pay you.
    • If you're a casual employee, your employer can apply for you if:
      • you're employed by them at the time they apply, and
      • you would have expected to work during the time they will receive the subsidy.
    • If you get ACC earnings related compensation, your employer can't apply for you. But they can apply for you if you've returned to work and no longer get ACC.
    • If you're self-employed and an employee, and your employer has already applied for a Wage Subsidy Extension for you, you can still apply as a self-employed person.

    In all cases, your employer needs to meet the criteria for the Wage Subsidy Extension (or you do if you're self-employed).

  • Wage Subsidy Extension payments

    Your employer will get:

    • $585.80 if you're working 20 hours or more a week (full-time rate), or
    • $350 if you're working less than 20 hours a week (part-time rate).

    The subsidy is paid to your employer as a lump sum and covers 8 weeks per employee.

    It's paid to you as part of your normal wages so you'll still need to pay tax on it, eg PAYE, Student Loan, Kiwisaver, and Child Support.

    How your employer should pay you

    Your employer should pay you in accordance with your employment agreement.

    If they can't pay your usual wages, they should try their hardest to pay you at least 80% of your usual wages. If that isn't possible, they should pay you at least the subsidy rate (ie, full-time or part-time).

    In either case, your hours of work and hourly rate can only be changed with your agreement.

    For information or questions on employment law, contact Employment NZ on 0800 20 90 20 or visit their website.

    Usual wages are less than the subsidy rate

    If your usual wages are less than the subsidy rate, your employer will pay you your usual wages.

  • You've been made redundant

    Made redundant before employer applies for the subsidy

    If your employer has given you a notice of redundancy, they can't apply for the subsidy for you, unless they withdraw the redundancy notice. This will need to be done in agreement with you.

    Made redundant after employer applies for the subsidy

    If your employer's already applied for the subsidy for you and makes you redundant during the subsidy period, they can use the Wage Subsidy Extension to pay you for the notice period arising from the redundancy.

  • Check if your employer has applied for the Wage Subsidy Extension

    To ensure payments are transparent and accountable to the public, you can search for companies that have received payments.

    COVID-19 Wage Subsidy and Extension - Employer Search

    The search will tell you:

    • the name of the company
    • the number of employees for whom payment has been made
    • the amount paid
    • the type of COVID-19 payment paid.

    If you believe your employer is receiving the Wage Subsidy Extension, but not meeting the conditions they agreed to, your first step is to talk to your employer. If the issue is not resolved, you can make a complaint to Employment New Zealand.

  • Employment law

    Regular employment law applies to all employment relationships - regardless of the circumstances that we find ourselves in. This includes anything that has been agreed to in your employment agreement (including how your employer pays you).

    For information or questions on employment law, contact Employment NZ on 0800 20 90 20 or visit their website.

  • Employer complaints

    If you have a complaint because you think your employer is breaching any of their minimum employment obligations to you, you can contact Employment NZ: