Sick Leave change
The minimum number of sick leave days for employees in New Zealand increased to 10 from July 24, 2021. Employees who already had a sick leave entitlement when the legislation came into force are entitled to 10 days’ sick leave on their next entitlement date. The Government has also begun work to implement the recommendations of the Holidays Act Taskforce, which includes giving employees access to sick leave from day one of employment, as opposed to only being eligible after six months. The Government expects to introduce this legislation in 2022.
Reinstatement of Wage Subsidy due to lockdown
From August 20, 2021, companies can apply for the subsidy (during a two-week window) if they anticipate they will experience a 40% loss of revenue due to Alert Level 4 restrictions being in place. Other criteria are likely to apply. It is expected that payments will reach businesses within three days of their application. Businesses will be eligible for NZ$600 per week for each full-time employee and NZ$359 for part-time employees.
In addition, the Short Term Absence Payment (for employees who are required to self-isolate to wait for Covid-19 test results) and Leave Support Scheme (for employees who are told to isolate because of Covid-19) both remain in operation. The rates of these payments are still to be confirmed, but the Government has indicated that they will be increased in line with the Wage Subsidy Scheme.
Resurgence Support Payment (RSP)
The RSP will also be reinstated and available for businesses that have experienced at least a 30% decrease in revenue. The RSP will allow businesses to receive up to $1500, plus an extra $400 per employee up to a maximum of 50 full-time employees. Unlike the wage subsidy scheme, the RSP does not have to be applied directly to employees.
More information and how to apply
More details of the reinstated schemes will be updated here as they are confirmed. For the latest information, please also refer to the following:
Work & Income: Wage Subsidy Scheme
Inland Revenue: Resurgence Support Payment
Government Covid-19 website: Financial support for businesses.
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