Support for COVID-19

Support Packages for Employers in New Zealand

1. Wage Subsidy

The Government has put together a COVID-19 Wage Subsidy for employers in all regions. It’s to support your business if you’re impacted by COVID and face laying off staff or reducing their hours because of COVID-19.

How much you can get:
The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy will be paid at a flat rate of $585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week ($350.00 for people working less than 20 hours per week).

The subsidy is paid as a lump sum and covers 12 weeks (up to $7,029.60) per employee and is for wages only. It is to help you keep your staff employed while you consider changes that may be needed while the disruption continues, and to ensure the future viability of your business.

The maximum subsidy that can be paid to a business is $150,000. Businesses can only get this subsidy once.

2. Leave Payment

Self-isolation is an important way to slow the spread of COVID-19. From 17 March 2020 the COVID-19 Leave Payment will be available to support people financially if they need to self-isolate, cannot work because they are sick with COVID-19 or cannot work because they are caring for dependents who are required to self-isolate or who are sick with COVID-19. The COVID-19 Leave Payment will be available for 8 weeks from 17 March 2020. Employers will be able to apply for this more than once (every 14 days per affected employee). It will be paid to employers who have eligible employees and they must pass the payment onto their employees in full.

How much you can get:
The COVID-19 leave payment will be paid at a flat rate of $585.80 to a person working 20 hours or more per week ($350.00 to a person working less than 20 hours per week).

Employers receiving the payment for employees who are required to self-isolate can receive it for 14 days. As people may be required to self-isolate more than once, employers will be able to apply for this on an ‘as needed’ basis. It can be paid for the entire period an employee is sick (or looking after a dependent person who is sick) with COVID-19 but the employer must apply every 14 days.

There are also some tax changes that we will comment on in a separate email, as the immediate benefit of these is minimal. Refer below for how to apply for the support packages.

How to place a claim

How do I get the information to make a Wage Subsidy claim?

Your business must have experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue over the period of a month when compared with the same month last year, and that decline is related to COVID-19 and occurred in a month between January 2020 to June 2020.

Business owners need to be able to prove that the drop in revenue is directly related to impacts caused by COVID-19. For example, factories in shut down in other countries that produce your stock, issues getting stock out of foreign ports, issues getting stock into NZ ports, customer numbers and foot traffic down due to customers not wanting to be in “group” situations or populated areas.

How to prove 30% decline in revenue 
We recommend running a profit and loss report from your accounting system of actuals for the affected month(s) versus the same month(s) last year (ensure your information is up to date before running the report).

If applying based on future months consider a report of forward orders or bookings compared to revenue last year, or the inability to order stock to enable you to achieve last years revenue.

If your business has been operating for less than a year, you must compare your revenue against a previous month that gives the best estimation of the revenue decline related to COVID-19.

Wage Subsidy Application forms:


Self Employed 

Leave Payment Application Forms:


Self Employed 

Detailed Information  

Work and Income New Zealand – Full Detail