Your obligations for COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021

These are your obligations when you get a COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021 payment. You must also comply with employment law. The full eligibility details and obligations are set out in the declaration, which you must read and agree to when you apply for a COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021 payment.

Applications for the fifth COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021, known as Wage Subsidy August 2021 #5, are open for two weeks between 9am, 15 October and 11.59pm, 28 October 2021.

An overview of your COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021 obligations

You must agree that:

Employment law and Leave entitlements

You must acknowledge that the granting of your application and your receipt of the subsidy does not override your existing obligations under employment law. This includes (but is not limited to) the Employment Relations Act 2000, Minimum Wage Act 1983, Holidays Act 2003 and Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

You must not make any changes to your obligations under any employment agreement, including to rates of pay, hours of work and leave entitlements, without the written agreement of the relevant employee. It's unlawful for you to unilaterally vary an employment agreement to reduce an employee's wages or salary in order to receive the subsidy, without the agreement from the employee. You must continue to comply with your obligations as an employer including under the Employment Relations Act 2000.

You must not unlawfully compel or require any of the employees you're applying for to use their leave entitlements for the period you receive the subsidy in respect of those employees other than as you are lawfully permitted to do, including as provided for in an employee's employment agreement.

There's information about this on the Employment New Zealand website:

Retaining and paying employees

You must:

  • from the date of your application, retain the named employees for the period you receive the subsidy, and
  • use the subsidy to pay the ordinary wages and salary of the named employees, in accordance with their employment agreements and statutory obligations, for the period you receive the subsidy, and
  • use the subsidy to meet your obligations in relation to this subsidy, and
  • repay any amount of the subsidy that is not required for these purposes and that cannot be used to support paying and retaining other affected staff.

You remain responsible for paying the ordinary wages and salary of the named employees.

For the period you receive the subsidy, you will:

  • use your best endeavours to pay at least 80 per cent of each named employee's ordinary wages or salary, and
  • pay at least the full amount of the subsidy to each named employee,

however

  • where the ordinary wages or salary of a named employee as at 16 August 2021 is lawfully below the amount of the subsidy, pay the employee that amount.

Ordinary wages or salary means:

  • for a named employee, the ordinary wages or salary as specified in the employee's employment agreement or in accordance with relevant statutory obligations as at the date you apply for this subsidy, or
  • for you if you're a sole trader or self-employed person, the weekly amount that you regularly pay yourself as at the date you apply for this subsidy.

The information on this page is a summary of the eligibility criteria and obligations set out in the declaration for the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021 #5. It does not replace the terms of the declaration and if there are any differences between this page and the declaration, the declaration prevails.