Your obligations 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.

The Wage Subsidy Extension obligations are in the declaration you agreed to when you applied.

  • An overview of your Wage Subsidy Extension obligations

    You must agree:

    • you meet the following eligibility criteria:
      • your business has had a minimum 40% revenue drop over a 30-day consecutive period in the 40 days immediately prior to application, attributable to the COVID-19 outbreak
      • you are registered and operating in New Zealand
      • you have taken active steps to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19 on their business activities, including proactively engaging with your bank and calling on your internal cash reserves (where appropriate)
      • the employees are legally employed by your business and have not been given notice of redundancy at the date you apply
      • you are not currently getting a COVID-19 Wage Subsidy, or Leave Support that was available before 10 June 2020 for the named employees
    • to use the subsidy to retain and pay your employees:
      • the subsidy does not override existing obligations under employment law
      • you will retain the employees named in the application for the period the subsidy is paid in respect of those employees
      • for the period of the subsidy you will:
        • use best endeavours to pay at least 80% of each named employee’s normal wages or salary for the duration of the subsidy
        • pass on at least the full amount of the subsidy claimed, to the employee, for the subsidised period, but
        • if the employees’ (or self-employed person’s) ordinary wages are less than the subsidy, pay them their usual wages (this also applies to self-employed people whose drawings are regularly less than the subsidy rate), and to repay any excess that arises which cannot be used to meet other employees’ wages
      • an employee’s ordinary salary or wages are specified in their employment agreement at the date the subsidy is applied for
      • a self-employed person’s ordinary salary or wages are the weekly amount that they regularly paid themselves as at the date they applied for the subsidy
    • you will advise the named employees about the outcome of the application and the conditions of the subsidy
    • you have discussed the application with the named employees, who consent to the information in the application:
      • being provided to the Ministry and
      • being used by the Ministry, and shared with other agencies, to make decisions about the application, and to review and audit any subsidy granted
    • you consent to the information in the application being verified with other agencies
    • you are aware that you may be audited, and if you provide false or misleading information, you may be investigated for fraud
    • you will notify us if circumstances change that affect your eligibility
    • you will repay any amount to which you are not entitled
    • you consent to the Ministry publishing information about your business and the level and duration of any subsidy received.
  • Your obligations under 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 an employment agreement.

    For information on your obligations under employment law, contact Employment NZ on 0800 20 90 20 or visit their website. For example, you might have questions about:

    • employer contributions to KiwiSaver
    • holiday pay
    • annual leave.