Last week the Government announced a COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Extension. On the 5th of June, the Government announced a change in criteria.
Previously, to qualify you must have experienced a minimum 50% decline in revenue in the 30 days before you apply, when compared to a similar period last year.
This has now been changed to a 40% drop in revenue for a 30 day period in the 40 days before applying (starting no earlier than 10 May 2020), compared to a similar period last year.
A couple of other key features of the Wage Subsidy Extension are:
- If you have given employees notice of redundancy, you won’t be eligible to receive the subsidy for those employees unless you withdraw the redundancy notice.
- If the amount of the subsidy is more than an employee's usual wages you must use the surplus to fund other employees’ wages where possible and, where this is not possible, return any surplus funding to MSD. These obligations will also apply to self-employed workers, ie if you are self-employed and you receive a subsidy that is more than your usual earnings, you will be required to repay the balance to MSD.
What will happen next?
The government will send you an email before your current 12-week Wage Subsidy ends. It will let you know when and how to apply for the 8-week COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Extension -if you still need it to pay yourself or your staff.
The email will list the staff you were paid the 12-week COVID Wage Subsidy for, and give you details about when you can apply for the Wage Subsidy Extension for them and any other staff.
The Wage Subsidy Extension must be passed on to the employees you claim for and your obligations under employment law will continue to apply.
To find out more go to Work and Income