The Covid-19 outbreak will impact all our lives in different ways. Employers, sole traders and business owners might have seen their businesses evaporate, leaving their staff unemployed or with significantly reduced hours.

To support self-employed people, contractors and employers who are affected by the outbreak, the government has created a Covid-19 Wage Subsidy and Leave Payment package. All the official details are here.

Financial support is available if you are:

  • a contractor
  • a sole trader
  • self-employed
  • an employer

OK, I’m self-employed. Am I eligible?
Self-employed people legally working in New Zealand are eligible for Leave Payment if they:

  • were earning minimum wage before they decided to self-isolate
  • were expecting to work from home during self-isolation
  • cannot make any money during self-isolation.

How much do I get?
$585 per week for 12 weeks, paid as a lump sum.

If this is you, apply here. It only takes a minute, and you should get paid the lump sum of around $7,000 in a few days.


I’m a business owner. Am I eligible for the Wage Subsidy?
 To qualify for the wage subsidy you or your business must satisfy the following criteria:

  • your business must be registered and operating in New Zealand
  • your employees must be working legally in New Zealand
  • your business must have a 30% decline in predicted and actual revenue over one month when compared to the same month last year. This decline must be related to Covid-19
  • you must prove that your business did everything to minimise the impact of Covid-19
  • you must do everything to keep employees and pay them a minimum of 80% of their normal wage for the subsidised period.


How much do I get?
What you get depends on the contracts your employees are working on.

  • $585 for employees working over 20 hours per week
  • $350 for employees working less than 20 hours per week.

This subsidy is for wages only. It allows you some breathing space whilst you consider how you will deal with further disruption and work out the future of your business.

The maximum your business can receive is $150,000 and will only be a one-time payment.

If this is you, apply here.  Businesses are reporting subsidies hitting their bank accounts in 3-4 days, so do it now.

Am I eligible for Leave Payment?
Leave Payment is for those whose income is disrupted because they must self-isolate.

If you cannot work due to Covid-19, there is Covid-19 Leave Payment that is available for employers with employees who:

  • must self-isolate
  • cannot work because they are sick with Covid-19
  • cannot work from home
  • cannot work because they are caring for people who must self-isolate or who are sick with Covid-19.

This payment will be available for 8 weeks from 17th March 2020. You can apply for this multiple times. This is because people may need to self-isolate more than once.

Leave Payment will be paid to employers who will then pay employees in full.

State sector employers should be paying employees as normal during self-isolation. However, the following employers may be eligible for Covid-19 Leave Payment:

  • councils
  • kindergartens
  • early childhood centres
  • non-government organisations
  • tertiary education institutions (universities, polytechnics, wananga)

How much do I get?
The amount you receive is the same as Wage Subsidies. So that’s:

  • $585 for employees working over 20 hours per week
  • $350 for employees working less than 20 hours per week.

Employers can receive Leave Payment for 14 days. If an employee is sick for over 14 days, employers must apply for further payment every 14 days.

If you have staff on sick leave, apply here

Keep safe everyone! Wash your hands, stay home and listen to great music like this ; )