Government Support

Wage subsidy, employment and numerous amounts of other government support is now available to all kiwis. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took to Facebook Live on Sunday evening to cover any questions or queries surrounding COVID-19. It was also reiterated that employees cannot be forced to take annual leave in order to receive a wage subsidy. But in general, if employers give their workers 14 days’ notice they can ask their employees to take annual leave.When it comes to using annual leave as a top-up to the wage subsidy, that can only be done in agreement between an employer and the worker. If you are an employer you can find all the information >> Work & Income

Jacinda Ardern, said New Zealanders must “stay the course” of the four-week lockdown. It was also announced that $5.3bn has now been paid out to 876,000 people through the government’s wage subsidy scheme.

The companies who applied for the coronavirus wage subsidy scheme will be available to public knowledge, by the Government later this week. 

The naming of the companies will let employees of those companies know whether or not their employer has accessed the subsidy and you can search here >> Ministry of Social Development 

It will be followed in the next two weeks by the naming of sole traders and the self-employed in a publicly available register.

Ardern says if an employer or business isn’t complying with any COVID-19 employment restrictions, people should contact the labour inspectorate on 0800 20 90 20 or by emailing

Before COVID-19, there was a stand-down period of usually one to two weeks, but this varied from person to person. Ardern says the stand-down period has been removed at Work and Income, meaning people will receive their benefits once their application is approved.

For more FAQ and answers, click >> Here

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The Government has also launched a Business Finance Guarantee Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses, to protect jobs and support our economy. The Crown, as well as participating approved banks, will support new loans (including increases to existing limits) to eligible businesses, as a direct response to any of the affected businesses caused by COVID-19.

Under the scheme, businesses with annual revenue between $250,000 and $80 million can apply to their banks for loans up to $500,000, for up to three years. The scheme will offer a total of $6.25 billion in loans to New Zealand businesses.

The Government has said it will be guaranteeing 80% of the risk, while the banks are covering the remaining 20%. A normal lending process will be followed by the banks, which will make lending decisions in the end.

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