The government announced modifications to the wage subsidy scheme on 27 March 2020.
- While businesses accessing the scheme must still undertake best endeavours to pay employees 80% of their pre-COVID-19 income, where this is not possible – in particular where a business has no activity whatsoever due to the shutdown and workers are not working any hours – they must pass on at least the whole value of the wage subsidy to each affected worker.
- Businesses must undertake to keep employees in employment for the period of the subsidy.
- The Government is folding the previous sick leave scheme (leave payment) into the wage subsidy scheme. The original leave payment scheme was designed when few people were in self-isolation, and it is no longer fit for purpose. They are working on arrangements for those in essential work who require sick leave due to COVID-19.
Go here for more information: https://workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/covid-19-support.html#null
Also see our fact sheet, updated on 29 March 2020.