Your obligations for COVID-19 Wage Subsidy

Your obligations when you receive the Wage Subsidy and under employment law.


If you want to read the Wage Subsidy Extension obligations, go to the Wage Subsidy Extension obligations page.

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

  • An overview of your Wage Subsidy obligations

    You must agree that:

    • you meet the following eligibility criteria:
      • your business has had a 30% revenue drop 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 your business activities, including proactively engaging with your bank and calling on your internal cash reserves (where appropriate)
      • you haven't received a COVID-19 Wage Subsidy that was available before 28 March 2020 for the named employees
    • you will use the subsidy to retain and pay your employees:
      • 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 employee's ordinary wages are less than the subsidy, pay them their usual wages
    • 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're aware that they may be audited, and if you provide false or misleading information, you may be investigated for fraud
    • you will notify MSD if circumstances change that affect your eligibility
    • you will repay any amount to which they are not entitled.
  • 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.