23 August 2021

COVID-19 Income Support Mechanisms: Wage Subsidy Applications Now Open

Applications for the Wage Subsidy opened at 9 am on Friday 20 August 2021.  To be eligible, businesses must expect a loss of at least 40% of revenue as a result of the move to Level 4.  The Government has clarified that this means the business has had, or is expecting to have, at least a 40% decline in revenue over the period of 17 August 2021 to 30 August 2021 (inclusive) when compared to a typical 14-day consecutive period of revenue in the six weeks immediately prior to the move to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021 (Default Comparator Period).


If a business has high seasonal revenue, they must show an actual or expected 40% decline in revenue when compared with the period of 17 August 2021 to 30 August in 2020 or 2019.  Such businesses will need to demonstrate that the seasonal nature of the business makes it harder to meet the 40% revenue decline when using the Default Comparator Period.


It is important to note that when calculating revenue, this should exclude any amounts received from the Wage Subsidy Scheme and any other COVID-19 Government support payments.


Eligible businesses will receive:

  • $600 per week per full-time equivalent employee; and
  • $359 per week per part-time employee.




The Wage Subsidy will be paid in a lump sum but cover two weeks of pay (Subsidy Period).  Businesses who receive the Wage Subsidy must:


  • Keep records of their revenue decline;
  • Retain all employees named in their Application for the Subsidy Period;
  • Not make any changes to their obligations under any employment agreement, including to rates of pay, hours of work and leave entitlements, without the written agreement of the relevant employee;
  • Not unlawfully require any of the named employees to use their leave entitlements for the Subsidy Period;
  • Use “best endeavours” to pay named employees at least 80% of their usual wages/salary for the Subsidy Period;
  • Pay at least the full amount of the Subsidy to named employees (or if the employee’s wages/salary are less than the Subsidy amount, then their full salary/wages); and
  • Discuss the Wage Subsidy Application with their employees and obtain their consent to share their personal information.


Applications for the Wage Subsidy can be made here


We understand that this is a tough time for businesses. Saunders & Co Lawyers are still available by phone and email to provide legal advice and guidance.  For more information and specific legal advice on your employment relations and health and safety obligations please contact us at the below details:



Andrew Riches (Partner)


Mobile: 021 982 115


Claire McCool (Senior Associate)


Mobile: 021 885 086


Deborah Hendry (Lawyer)


Mobile: 022 153 0220


For more information on Covid-19 and its status, check the following websites: