The government is making modifications to the Wage Subsidy Scheme to help firms that need to shut down under Alert Level 4 to pay workers for an extended period of time.
This modified Wage Subsidy scheme will support employers and their staff to maintain an employment connection and ensure an income for affected employees, even if the employee is unable to actually work any hours.
The Wage Subsidy scheme:
- Supports employers adversely affected by COVID-19, so that they can continue to pay their employees; and
- Supports workers to ensure they continue to receive an income, even if they are unable to work.
For full details of today's announcement, read the media release on the Beehive website.
Read more, including how to apply for the Consolidated Wage Subsidy scheme, on the Work and Income website.
COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation and Ministry of Social Development (MSD) staff and its website are experiencing exceptionally heavy demand. Please, be patient. MSD will process and approve applications as quickly as it can.
A comprehensive package
The Consolidated Wage Subsidy scheme supports the government’s plan to fight the virus and smooth out the curve, cushion the blow on business and workers, and position New Zealand for recovery.
The support announced to date includes:
- a business finance guarantee scheme announced on 24 March
- a business cashflow and tax measures announced on 17 March
- a benefits package announced on 17 March, including a $25 per week increase to all main benefits and removing benefit stand-downs, which is being rolled out from March through July
- a freeze on rent and limits on rental terminations, announced on 25 March
- a support package tailored to the specific needs of Māori business and communities, announced on 22 March.
Private sector entities are also involved in the economic response:
- banks have agreed to a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers, announced on 22 March, and support for customers experiencing hardship, announced on 24 March.
Read more about the Consolidated Wage Subsidy scheme in the 23 March media release on the Beehive website.
The Government, Reserve Bank and the Treasury continue to work on further support to cushion New Zealand against the impacts of the virus, and position the economy for recovery.