Date posted: 21/04/2020

The Government Wage Subsidy

The COVID-19 wage subsidy was rolled out under a high trust model. The Government has been very clear that unsupported claims will be clawed back.

In Brief

  • Most employers adversely affected by COVID-19 are eligible to apply for a wage subsidy
  • Business must have experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue in a month
  • The subsidy is based on a high trust model – unsupported claims will be clawed back

The Government’s Wage Subsidy Scheme is available to employers affected by COVID-19. As outlined on the Work and Income New Zealand website, the majority of New Zealand employers adversely affected by COVID-19 are eligible to apply for the COVID-19 wage subsidy.

To be eligible funding under the scheme, businesses must satisfy a number of criteria including a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue in a month because of COVID-19. To determine a decline in revenue, the business must compare one month’s revenue against the same month in the previous year.

Businesses should retain documentation supporting the basis of their claim and the individual employees for whom the subsidy was claimed.

Applications for the COVID-19 wage subsidy include a declaration that, among other things, the employer meets the eligibility criteria. Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) members are bound by the NZICA Code of Ethics, which requires integrity in all business and professional relationships.

The COVID-19 wage subsidy was rolled out under a high trust model. The Government has been very clear that unsupported claims will be clawed back.

Businesses which no longer meet the subsidy eligibility criteria or provided false or misleading information in their application will be required to repay the subsidy.

Wage subsidy payments will be subject to audit and review, and ministers have signalled serious consequences for abuse of the system.

Sharing Knowledge Webinar – wage subsidy

Earlier this month a panel discussed the wage subsidy.

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Wage Subsidy Scheme information

Latest information on the Government’s COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.

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