Weekly Digest – 27 October 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

PM Announced COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Businesses

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses, as the government strives to hit a 90% vaccination target.

Under the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, businesses such as bars, hair salons, and restaurants must require vaccine certificates from customers if they’re in close contact with them. Such businesses must ensure their employees are vaccinated if they wish to operate.

This mandate affects about 40% of the workforce in the country.

NZ Sets 90% Vaccination Target to End Lockdowns

The government has set an ambitious target of fully vaccinating 90% of all eligible people to end lockdowns. Under the new framework announced by the PM, people living in Auckland will regain many of their freedoms once 90% of people 12 years old and above across each of three districts are fully vaccinated.

Business Confidence Falls in October

Business sentiment fell in October as cost and inflation pressures intensified due to COVID-19 uncertainty, according to the results of an ANZ Bank survey.

A net 13.4% of respondents expected the economy to deteriorate over the year ahead, compared with a 7.2% pessimism level in September. A net 21.7% of respondents also expected their own businesses to grow in the next 12 months, up from 18.2% from last month.

Support available to you

Work and Income has a Find COVID-19 Support tool to help you find the support options you’re eligible for.

If your business has to close temporarily or reduce opening hours

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy

The Wage Subsidy August 2021 is available to eligible businesses in New Zealand affected by the continuation of Alert Levels 3 and 4 from 17 August 2021.

Businesses and self-employed people must meet the decline in revenue tests to be eligible to receive the wage subsidy.

The wage subsidy is paid in a 2 week lump sum. You can get:

  • $600 per week for each full-time employee
  • $359 per week for each part-time worker retained.

As an employer you must pass on the full wage subsidy to your employee. If the wage subsidy is more than your employee’s pay, you can continue to pay them at their normal rate.

Find out more about the Leave Support Scheme on the Work and Income website.

Wage Subsidy 2021 #5 open

Applications for the fifth Wage Subsidy are open for two weeks between 15 October and 28 October.

You can check the eligibility requirements here. Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Inland Revenue is updating their systems between 21 and 28 October. This may delay some COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021 applications, because Work and Income will need to verify your information with Inland Revenue. You can still apply during this time.

COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment

The COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment helps cover wages and fixed costs for businesses who have been directly affected when there is an increase to Alert Level 2 or higher for a week or more.

To be eligible, your business must have experienced at least a 30% drop in revenue or a 30% decline in capital-raising ability over a 7-day period, due to the increase in Alert Levels.

You can receive $1,500 per business plus $400 per full-time employee (FTE), up to 50 FTE. If you’re a sole trader, you can receive a payment of up to $1,900.

Applications for the COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment are open. You need to apply through Inland Revenue. Businesses anywhere in New Zealand can apply if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Find out more information about the COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment and how to apply here.

If your business has reduced revenue

Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme

If you employ 50 or fewer staff, you may be able to apply for the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme. This is a one-off 5 year loan where you can borrow a maximum of $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time-equivalent employee within your business.

  • When applying for the loan, you need to be able to declare that your business is viable.
  • Your business must have experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue over the period of a month, compared with the same month last year.
  • Applications are open until 31 December 2023 through myIR. If your business does not have a myIR account, you will need to create one to apply.

Loans will be interest free if they are paid back within 2 years. The interest rate is 3% for a maximum term of 5 years.

IRD tax assistance

If you’re finding it hard to meet your tax obligations, Inland Revenue may be able to help. Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Insolvency relief

The COVID-19 Business Debt Hibernation scheme allows businesses to get a month’s protection while they talk to their creditors.

If an employee needs to self isolate

COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

If an employee cannot work from home while self-isolating, you may be able to apply for financial support so they can continue to get paid.

The Leave Support Scheme is paid as a 2 week lump sum at the rate of:

  • $600 a week for full-time employees
  • $359 a week for part-time employees

You cannot get the Wage Subsidy August 2021, Leave Support Scheme and Short-Term Absence Payment for the same employee at the same time.

If an employee is awaiting the result of a COVID-19 rest

COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment

The Short-Term Absence Payment is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay employees who cannot work from home while they wait at home for a COVID-19 test result. This is a one-off payment of $350. You can find the details here.

Kiwi Business Boost Tool

The Government has funded specialist consultancy support services to provide advice to businesses who need it. You can use the Kiwi Business Boost Tool to find out what services are available in your region.

The Treasury website’s COVID-19 Economic Response Measures can also provide more information on the range of support available to businesses.

Training Incentive Allowance

The Training Incentive Allowance can help with tuition fees, books, childcare, equipment, transport and any additional caring costs while studying. It’s available for courses at levels 1-7 of the NZ Qualifications Framework. Visit the Work and Income website to find out who’s eligible, how much you can get and who can apply.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

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