Covid-19 Update – Level 3

As areas of the country have moved to Alert Level 3, all of our team continue to work remotely, helping you to get through these challenging times and stay ahead. During Alert Level 3, you can still drop your information in our after-hours mailbox at 16 Bell Street, Whanganui if you are unable to send it electronically and we will process any information received ensuring we continue working with you.
 
We have provided an update of the latest changes below. 
Government Support

Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS): To help businesses keep paying staff and protect jobs. 

Applications for the initial Wage Subsidy close at 11.59pm on Thursday 2nd September. A second, two week payment will be available from Friday 3rd September at 9am. See below the criteria for the second Wage Subsidy.  The second wage subsidy is known as Wage Subsidy August 2021 #2Businesses that applied for the initial Wage Subsidy payment can apply for the second Wage Subsidy, so long as you meet all the eligibility criteria. You can apply two weeks after your previous application. If you applied on 23rd August, you can apply for the second Wage Subsidy on 6th September.Businesses that didn’t apply for the initial Wage Subsidy can apply for the second Wage Subsidy from 3rd September 2021, providing you meet all the eligibility criteria.Businesses must demonstrate a 40% decline, or predicted decline in revenue for the period of 31st August to 13th September 2021, compared to a typical 14-day period over the last 6 weeks prior to lock down on the 17th August 2021. Payment is made as a two week lump sum at:$600 a week for each full-time employee retained (20 hours a week or more)$359 a week for each part-time employee retained (less than 20 hours a week).You must have consent from employees to submit their detailsApplications are not able to be tracked once lodged but timeframes are expected to be up to 3 days (while MSD verify staff records to IRD records). Further information on the WSS can be found here.
Resurgence Support Payment (RSP): To help support businesses or organisations with one-off costs due to a COVID-19 alert level increase. Businesses can have both the RSP and WSS. Available if firms incur a loss of 30 percent of revenue as a result of the alert level increase.Up to $1500 plus $400 per full-time equivalent employee (maximum of 50 full-time employees).On Friday the 3rd September 2021 the Minister of Finance announced a change to the eligibility criteria for the (RSP). Businesses and organisations that have been in operation for at least 1 month prior to the Alert Level increase on 17 August 2021 will now be eligible for this payment. The original criteria was 6 months.
Other support available: These two subsidies have been available throughout and are still available; Leave Support Scheme (LSS): The Leave Support Scheme provides a two-week lump sum payment of either $585.80 per week for full-time workers, or $350 per week for part-time workers, who must self-isolate and cannot work from home.Short-Term Absence Payment (STAP): The Short-Term Absence Payment (STAP) provides a one-off (once per 30 days) $350 payment for workers who must miss work due to a COVID-19 test and cannot work from home.For more information please keep visiting the COVID-19.govt.nz for up-to-date information. Or of course just get in touch with us.

Law Changes

Mandatory Face Masks/Coverings: As of 1st September you legally must wear a face covering if you are a customer or an employee involving customer contact at a business or service operating at Alert Level 3. Police can enforce this rule. Learn more about mandatory face masks here.

Mandatory Recording of Visitors: Mandatory record keeping comes into effect from 11.59pm on 7th September 2021. Everyone aged 12 and over legally must keep a record of where they have been when visiting certain places so contact tracing can happen quickly. You must do this at all Alert Levels. Click here for advice for businesses.

Look After Yourself
Hopefully Level 2 won’t be too far away. However, the longer these lockdowns go for, the more important it is to look after yourself and those around you. Need support? Check out this resource for some ways to boost your mental wellbeing and that of loved ones. A reminder there is also the Xero Assistance Programme (XAP) still available to use. Xero customers on a starter, standard or premium plan can access free and confidential counselling and resources through the programme.

We Are Here To Help
If you need any support with applying for the above subsidies or have any questions regarding your eligibility please get in touch with us.