Covid-19 – Breaking news re Subsidies

4:00pm Friday 27 March 2020

Today – Grant Robertson has just announced some important changes to the subsidies from now

  • I am thrilled to say that he has just confirmed that “best endeavours” means to try and pay at 80% - but if not possible, you “must pass on at least the whole value of the wage subsidy to each affected worker”.
  • He has confirmed that the principle is to keep everyone employed.
  • He has confirmed all other Employment obligations are unchanged
  • And for those who have the subsidy this covers those who are home sick – you don’t now treat them differently.  So anyone currently on the leave payment will now move onto the subsidy.

The full text can be found here:

Paying less than 80% is therefore clearly an option – but only if you cannot pay the 80% - I believe my guidance sent out an hour ago on obtaining agreement to this is important as it relates to compliance with your employment obligations – but with staff already sent home, this agreement may well only be obtained electronically or in some instances in the lack of an objection to an offer, where there was reasonable chance to object.

Need help managing staff?

Mike has a wealth of experience advising on every aspect of the employer-employee relationship. I can give you per-phone guidance or work along side you to make things happen.

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