COVID 19 - General update

On Monday 17th August Finance Minister Hon Grant Roberston announced the details of the newly extended resurgence wage subsidy scheme and changes to the leave support payment.

Here’s what you need to know:

Extension to the extended Wage Subsidy - COVID-19 Resurgence Wage Support Subsidy
• The new wage subsidy scheme will be open for applications through the Ministry of Social Development by the end of this week, Friday 21 August.
• The extension will be available for the period of time that Auckland remains at Alert Level 3.
• The criteria for the new wage subsidy extension is that a business must have had, or is predicting to have, a 40 per cent revenue drop due to COVID-19. For this new scheme, the revenue drop applies for any consecutive period of at least 14 days within 12 August and 14 September compared to last year.
• The scheme is available nationwide.
• The current wage subsidy extension is still available – and open until 1 September for eligible businesses. Businesses that haven’t yet accessed that scheme should reassess if they now meet the current criteria, following the recent increase in alert levels.

Simplifying Leave Support Scheme
• The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme provides a payment to businesses to pay their workers who need to take leave due to COVID-19 public health guidance.
• The Government announced today they will remove the revenue drop and "negatively impacted" tests for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme from 1 pm 21 August. This means the revenue test will no longer apply.
• This is to further support wide-scale testing, removing barriers to a person getting tested.

Other updates
• The mortgage deferral scheme will be extended from its current end-date of 27 September 2020, to 31 March 2021. Further details will be made available by the Reserve Bank and the retail banks.
• Further work is being done to ensure support continues to be adaptable and flexible for alert level movements. This includes work on the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme and potential further changes to the Leave Support Scheme.
• Earlier today the Prime Minister confirmed the General Election will be delayed four weeks, to the new date - 17 October.