For those who have not yet applied for the wage subsidy scheme, or are having difficulties, it can be hard to navigate.
Here are some extra points to help to simplify it.
The main points:
- $600 for full-time employees
- $359 for part-time employees
- Applications opened 20 August 2021
- Applications usually remain open for up to a month
- Extensive declaration form, with enormously long sentences (one of them has 155 words) – about 10 pages has to be signed
- You need to have had at least 40% decline in income (exclusive of any Covid subsidy payments) over the period 17 August 2021 to 30 August 2021 inclusive, when compared with a typical 14 day consecutive period of revenue in the six weeks immediately prior to 17 August 2021. There is a special rule for those who have high seasonal revenue
- You need to get the consent of your employees, preferably in writing, to provide information to the Ministry of social development: there are six long bullet points – see paragraph numbered 6
- Don’t forget to advise your named employees they can request access to information you have provided in your application
- Paragraph 11 deals with repayment of the subsidy. If you take the money and you don’t meet the criteria, such as a sales drop of at least 40% your actual sales turn out to be less than 40% decline, you have to repay the money
- Paragraph 13 says you can be prosecuted if you “receive any subsidy or part of the subsidy that you were not entitled to receive, including where any predicted decline in revenue of the relevant period is not realised.” MSD will be carrying out some audits so it is important to get it right.
We quote directly from the declaration:
“Before making this declaration, you have taken active steps to mitigate the impact of the move to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021 on your business activities (including but not limited to engaging with your bank, drawing on your cash reserves as appropriate, making an insurance claim).”
It would seem you may not be permitted to claim the subsidy if you have sufficient funds or can raise sufficient funds to meet the wage payment. Note the use of the words “as appropriate”. If you have money aside for tax, for example, would it be appropriate to use the money to pay wages? Probably not. Maybe you would also be entitled to reserve money for your normal personal drawings and for your business bills.
“Engaging with your bank” possibly includes making sure your business is viable before you make a claim for the subsidy.
When you apply for the subsidy:
If you are having any difficulties and need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The team are all working from home during lockdown, so you can either send us an email, or leave a message on the phone, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.