Essential HR

Covid-19 – Breaking news – New budget funding and impact on your people!

Thursday 14 May 2020

Extended Wage Subsidies

For those really struggling – the Budget has delivered something!  Not by industry, but this is simpler for them to manage.  I will keep an eye out for the detailed process, but the essentials are that you can get 8 more weeks of wage subsidy if your turnover has dropped by 50% (year on year for the 30 days prior to you applying).  It will be on the same terms and rates as the first subsidy and available through MSD from 10 June 2020.

  • You will need the extension for mid-June – mid-August, so you need to compare Turnover for the period 12 May 2020 to 10 June 2020 with May or June 2019 (the closest similar period).  If you know it will be less than 50% of 2019 figures then prepare to apply (gather the figures for any future audit).
  • This will give two more months to work out how best to help your staff.
  • If you are, or think you are, in this category, please let me know and we will see what sort of help you may need managing communications with staff over this period.

For those who don’t qualify for the extra subsidy – you need to be prepared for the end of the subsidy in mid June.  The budget should generate new jobs and related training (building and construction, infrastructure-related jobs and 11,000 jobs in the environmental sector! And training support including extensive help with apprenticeships.) 

But if you are struggling compared to pre-Covid times, you will still need to be running a fair process to manage staff costs and working hours – and this should already be starting if you are to have enough time for a fair process.  If you need any help I suggest:

  • Register with the Regional Business Partners’ Network
  • Get consulting assistance for free – be it marketing to a ‘new normal’ or our HR advice to follow fair processes and avoid PGs and court costs.

For those who need cash flow help – the interest free loan for $10,000 plus $1,800 per fulltime employee is available from the IRD, through the MyIR site, if you need the cash to help run your business.  Only available until 12 June, and must be repaid in a year or interest will be charged at 3% (still good value).  You must be eligible for the initial wage subsidy and less than 50 staff.

The sooner we all start planning the sooner we can make things happen.  Go early and go strong – but still play it safe!  Jacinda says she has faith in us – let’s all work on this together.

Essential HR is back in our offices from Monday 18th and will do our absolute best to assist.  Any questions call me on 027 2808546 or email mike@essentialhr.co.nz .