Covid-19 Wage Subsidy

Below is a summary of the different wage subsidies that have been available to employers since March 2020:

  • Wage Subsidy – this was available up to 10th June 2020 and required a 30% decline in revenue as a result of COVID-19 for a month or 30 day period between January 2020 and 9th June 2020 compared with the same month or period last year
  • Wage Subsidy Extension – this was available from 10th June 2020 to 1st September 2020 and required a 40% decline due COVID-19 for a continuous 30 day period in the 40 days before application compared to the closest period last year
  • Resurgence Wage Subsidy – this was available between 21st August 2020 and 3rd September 2020 for employers not already receiving a wage subsidy but expecting a 40% decline in revenue as a result of COVID-19 for a 14 day period between 12th August 2020 and 10th September 2020 compared to a similar period last year

The application period for all of the above wage subsidies has now ended. These are no longer available. In some cases, you may need to pay back these subsidies (see further information below).

Still Available – Leave Support Scheme

The Leave Support Scheme can still be applied for if you have staff who cannot work due to Covid-19. This payment used to be called “COVID-19 Essential Workers Leave Support” as it was initially only available to essential businesses. It is now available to all employers who meet the criteria. This payment is available for employees who:

  • Cannot work because the Ministry of Health guidelines recommend they stay at home and they cannot work from home
  • Have either tested positive and are to remain away from work until they have been cleared
  • Have come into contact with someone who has Covid-19 and must self-isolate
  • Are themselves at high risk or have household members who are at high risk

The Leave Support Scheme does not cover employees who:

  • Are sick with COVID-19 ‘like’ symptoms and Ministry of Health guidelines require them to self-isolate until they have recovered
  • Cannot work because they have care of dependents and they are unable to access care for those dependents
  • Are unable to work as they have a reasonable belief that continued work during COVID-19 is harmful to their physical or mental health
  • Are unable to work for any other reason, for example, bereavement
  • The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Extension or Resurgence Wage Subsidy payment is being received for them

All of the wage subsidies schemes are subject to audit

You may need to repay some or all of the subsidy if:

  • You no longer meet the criteria
  • You are not meeting your obligation to use the subsidy to retain employees
  • You have received insurance for any costs covered by the subsidy
  • You provided false or misleading information on your application

If you are not sure whether you need to repay the subsidies, please contact MSD on 0800 40 80 40.

We are also happy to assist with any queries regarding the subsidies so please get in touch with us.