Over the last few day I have received a number of calls around the Covid19 wage subsidy. I had 4 calls this morning, 1 from an employer and 3 from employees. The employer question was standard and answered easily enough. The employees questions were similar in nature. One had been told that they would be paid for 3 days but were expected to work for the whole week. 2 had been told they would be paid for the next couple of weeks but would then likely be let go. The first employee is required to be paid a minimum of 80% of his wages, the second 2 should technically work for the next 12 weeks because that's what's expected, that's what the subsidy is for. I have cut and past below the obligations of an employer. I recommend every one goes to the covid19 website for full information. Remember an employer must make their best efforts to retain staff they have claimed the money for. improper claims may result in fraud charges, also you could be required to pay back any money you have received if you haven't used it properly.
The subsidy is being administered under a high trust model and employers will not be asked for verification before the subsidy is approved. However MSD will have the ability to check applications and verify information at a later date. Where false or misleading information has been provided, employers can be subject to fraud investigation.
To receive the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy, the employer must agree:
that they meet the following subsidy eligibility criteria:
the business is registered and operating in New Zealand
their business has experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue over the period of a month when compared to the same month last year (or a reasonably equivalent month for a business operating less than a year) and that revenue loss is attributable to the COVID-19 outbreak
they have taken active steps to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19 on their business activities
the employer will make best endeavours to retain the named employees and pay them a minimum of 80% of their normal wages or salary for the duration of the subsidy
the employer has discussed the application with the named employees, who consent to the information in the application:
being provided to MSD; and
being used by MSD, and shared with other agencies, to make decisions about the application, and to review and audit any subsidy granted
the employer consents to the information in the application being verified with other agencies
the employer is aware that they may be audited, and if they provide false or misleading information, they may be investigated for fraud
the employer will notify if circumstances change that affect their eligibility
the employer will repay any amount to which they are not entitled
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