Repaying the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy

How to repay the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy if you need to.

Information

If you want to repay the Wage Subsidy Extension, go to the Wage Subsidy Extension repayments page.

When you need to repay

You need to repay some or all the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy if:

  • you no longer meet the criteria for the subsidy
  • you're not meeting your obligation to use the subsidy to retain and pay your employees
  • 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.

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

  • 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 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 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.

  • Redundancies

    Your obligations state you must retain your employees you're currently receiving the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy for.

    If you have to make an employee redundant during the subsidy period:

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

    You cannot use the Wage Subsidy to make any contractual redundancy payments to an employee.

  • 30% decline in revenue

    When you applied for the subsidy, you declared that:

    • your business experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue over the period of any month from Jan 2020 to June 2020, when compared with the same month last year, and
    • that decline is related to COVID-19.

    For pre-revenue research and development start-up companies, 30% revenue loss includes a drop of 30% in projected capital income.

    Business hasn't had a 30% decline in revenue

    If you predicted a minimum 30% decline in revenue for a particular month, and the decline hasn’t happened in that month (or in any 30 day period between Jan and June 2020), 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 30% decline in actual revenue, whether your business is able to open or not.

    This also includes if your application was based on a minimum 30% decline in predicted revenue and this has happened.

  • Business returns to work before 12 weeks ends

    If your business returns to work before the 12 weeks Wage Subsidy period has finished, you may need to repay the subsidy.

    It depends on whether your business has experienced a 30% decline in revenue or not.

    Business has had a decline in revenue

    You don't have to repay the wage subsidy if your business has experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual revenue, whether your business is able to open or not.

    Business hasn't had a 30% decline in revenue

    If you predicted a minimum 30% decline and your business hasn't experienced this, you may find you didn't need the wage subsidy. If this is the case, you must repay it.

  • Employee resigns

    If one of your employees voluntarily leaves during the 12 weeks of the wage subsidy, you need to tell MSD. You can't claim another subsidy for that person.

    You don't have to repay the subsidy. Any difference should be used for the wages of other affected staff - the wage subsidy is designed to keep your employees connected to you.

  • 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.