The Government’s Unite Against COVID-19 website here continues to be the up to date source for all information on financial support for businesses.
The Government announced on Friday 14 August that the Auckland Regional will remain under Alert Level 3 and the reminder of New Zealand will remain under Alert Level 2 until the 26 August. NZW anticipates some additional information from government about the extension of the wage subsidy scheme - we will update this page accordingly.
NZW is updating the below Q and A's to reflect some of the changes as a result of the COVID-19 Response (Further Management Measures) Legislation Bill and any additional Government Announcements. A summary of these changes can be found here.
Read more about some of the recent changes below:
- NEW - Resurgance Wage Subsidy: A Resurgence Wage Subsidy payment will be available from 1pm on 21 August 2020 for employers who are financially impacted by the resurgence of COVID-19. More information is available here.
- Immigration changes Immigration NZ has advised that with the move to Alert Level 3 in Auckland and Alert Level 2 in the rest of New Zealand there are currently no changes to visa processing or border restrictions. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online for eligible visas. Many visas can be applied for and processed online. The online process for requesting a border exception remains the same. We will continue to keep members updated of any significant changes.
Further updates can be found in the IMMIGRATION AND RSE UPDATES below.
- Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme: The Small Business Cashflow Scheme has been extended until 31 December 2020. Applications opened on 12 May 2020 and can now be submitted up to and including 31 December 2020. You can find out more information about this here.
Border Exceptions for ‘Other critical worker’: Employers can request to bring critical workers into New Zealand while the border is closed on the basis of them being ‘other critical workers’ (this group was previously called ‘essential workers’). The criteria are very specific and the threshold will be extremely high. Our initial view is that vintage roles such as vintage cellarhand will not meet the criteria. It is possible a winemaker may meet the criteria, or technician for specialist equipment such as wine presses. You can find the information on the criteria and process to apply here.
The relaxation of visa conditions to allow people to work in essential businesses ended on 24 June 2020. Temporary visa holders wanting to change employers, jobs or regions permanently will need to apply for a new visa or Variation of Conditions
Essential Skills visa changes: From 27 July the combination of ANZSCO and salary to assess skill level is being replaced with a simple remuneration threshold, aligned to the national median wage calculated by Statistics NZ. Remuneration will be used to determine the following for an Essential Skills work visa application:
Whether an employer needs to engage with The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in order to meet the labour market test.
- The maximum duration of the visa
While NZW is not able to provide employment advice, we can help seek answers to any queries you may have on the scheme from government. Please email these to firstname.lastname@example.org
The below Q&As include some information about different kinds of relief and support offered by Customs, IRD and Work and Income in these circumstances.
Please note that excise entries must still be lodged in the usual timeframes, as this is a legal requirement. It is important that if you have any difficulty making payment that you still lodge an entry as that will support Customs to assess payment options. Please contact your local excise officer at the earliest opportunity if you will have difficulty lodging your entry.