Repaying the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy March 2021 

Find out when you need to repay the Wage Subsidy March 2021 and how to repay it.

When you need to repay

You need to repay some or all the Wage Subsidy March 2021 if:

  • you no longer meet the criteria for the subsidy
  • you predicted a 40% decline in revenue that did not eventuate
  • you're not meeting your obligation to use the subsidy to retain and pay your workers
  • you've received insurance (eg, business continuity insurance) for any costs covered by the subsidy that mean you no longer meet the decline in revenue criteria
  • you provided false or misleading information in your application.

You may also voluntarily repay the wage subsidy if you met the criteria but no longer require it, refer to the wage subsidy refund form. We will then contact you to discuss your repayment and confirm the repayment amount.

If you're not sure whether you need to repay the Wage Subsidy March 2021, call us on 0800 40 80 40.

Main reasons you may need to repay: 

  • Have money left over after paying wages

    If your employee's usual wages are less than the subsidy, you must pay them their usual wages. Any difference should be used for the wages of other affected staff - the Wage Subsidy March 2021 is designed to keep your employees connected to you.

    If there are no other employees to use the subsidy for, then the remaining Wage Subsidy March 2021 should be paid back.

    Self-employed

    If you're self-employed, the income you regularly draw from your business may be less than the amount you receive as a wage subsidy. In this case, you can repay any remaining Wage Subsidy March 2021.

  • Redundancies 

    Your obligations state you must retain your workers you're currently receiving the Wage Subsidy March 2021 for.

    If you have to make a worker redundant during the subsidy period:

    • you can use the Wage Subsidy March 2021 to pay the worker any notice period arising from the redundancy, and
    • you must repay any balance of the Wage Subsidy March 2021 that's left after the notice period has been paid.

    You cannot use the Wage Subsidy March 2021 to make any contractual redundancy payments to a worker.

  • 40% decline in revenue

    When you applied for the subsidy, you declared that:

    • your business experienced a minimum 40% decline in actual or predicted revenue over a consecutive 14-day period between 28 February and 21 March, compared to a typical 14-day period between 4 January and 14 February 2021 (unless your business is highly seasonal) , and

    that decline is related to the increase to Alert Level 3 on 28 February. For pre-revenue research and development start-up companies, 40% revenue loss includes a drop of 40% in projected capital income.

    Business hasn't had a 40% decline in revenue

    If you predicted a minimum 40% decline in revenue for a consecutive 14-day period, and the decline hasn’t happened in that period (or in any consecutive 14-day period between 28 February and 21 March 2021), you must repay the subsidy.

    Business has had a decline in revenue

    You don't have to repay the wage subsidy if your business has experienced a minimum 40% decline in actual revenue, even when your business was able to remain open (provided you also meet the other criteria).

    This also includes if your application was based on a minimum 40% decline in predicted revenue and this has happened.

  • Worker resigns 

    If one of your workers voluntarily leaves during the 2 weeks of the Wage Subsidy March 2021, you need to tell us. You can't claim another subsidy for that person.

    If your worker resigns, any remaining subsidy should be used for the wages of other affected workers. The Wage Subsidy March 2021 is designed to keep your workers connected to you.

    If there are no other workers to use the subsidy for, then the remaining Wage Subsidy March 2021 should be paid back.

How to repay the subsidy

You can fill out the online form. You'll need your:

  • business name
  • IRD number
  • New Zealand Business Number (NZBN), if you have one
  • phone number
  • email address
  • postal address.

You'll also need to tell us the amount you need to repay.

Once we process the form, we'll be in touch to confirm how to make the repayment.

After you've made the repayment

We'll update your details in the employer list within 24-48 hours. This is where people can search for employers who have received COVID-19 wage subsidies.

If you made a:

  • full repayment, you'll no longer be in the list
  • part repayment, the amount of money paid to you will be updated
    • the number of employees won't change as we're unable to update this.