last updated 10/09/2021
UPDATED - Covid 19 support - useful links
last updated 10/09/2021
Updated 10 September 2021 – With lockdown here again, here are some helpful resources for franchisors and franchisees from our friends at Franchise Accountants
The Level 4 lockdown announced 17 August 2021 has triggered three of the government's existing Covid Support policies:
- Resurgence Support Payment;
- Covid Wage Subsidy; and
- Covid-19 Leave Support Scheme.
Here are some more details and resources on each of these schemes. Note: the terms 'employee' and 'business' below include sole traders and shareholder-employees.
Some information and applications may not be immediately available, so keep checking the websites regularly.
Resurgence Support Payment
The Resurgence Support Payment is for businesses which have experienced a loss of at least 30% revenue as a result of this lockdown. The payment:
- Is to be paid as a lump sum
- Can be used for general operating costs
- The amount is to be the lower of:
- $1,500 plus $400 per full-time equivalent employee (up to 50 FTEs), or
- Four times the actual revenue decline experienced by the business
This scheme has now been extended to apply to businesses that have 30% drop or more in revenue (sales) for a 7-day period from 8th September when compared to a typical 7-day period in the 6 weeks before lockdown ( ie. 17 August). This is now open to claim as from Friday 17 September, and remains open to a month after Alert Level 1 returns.
The Minister of Finance previously announced a change to the eligibility criteria for the Resurgence Support Payment (RSP). Businesses and organisations that have been in operation for at least one month prior to the Alert Level increase on 17 August 2021 are eligible to apply for the payment. The original criteria was six months.
This change applies to the current round of the RSP and any future ones, meaning businesses which have been in operation since 17 July 2021 may now be eligible for this RSP. They will still need to meet all of the other criteria for the RSP. Note that this is not a new round of the Resurgence Support Payment - but it means some businesses who were not previously eligible for this round may now be eligible.
The change in criteria will become active from 8am on 9 September 2021 on Inland Revenue's website. Newly eligible businesses must wait until that date before applying under this new criteria. Inland Revenue will contact businesses whose applications under the current RSP activation were previously declined because they had been in business less than six months, to let them know they may now be eligible and can submit a new application.
More information about applications can be found on Covid-19 Resurgence Support Payment on the ird.govt.nz website.
Covid Wage Subsidy
The Covid Wage Subsidy is for businesses which expect a loss of at least 40% revenue as a result of this lockdown:
- To be paid as a two-week lump sum
- Can only be used for wages, not general operating costs
- $600 per week for each full-time employees
- $359 per week for each part-time employee
Applications for the initial two-week Wage Subsidy August 2021, which opened on 20 August 2021, closed at 11.59pm on Thursday 2 September 2021. Applications for a second round of Wage Subsidy - to be known as Wage Subsidy August 2021 #2 - opened at 9.00am on Friday 3 September.
There have been some delays. For those who have applied and not yet received the payment, call MSD and get your status advised. If your payment is being held by IRD requiring more info, then advise your accountant to collate this and secure-email it on to IRD.
More information is available here on the MSD website.
Covid-19 Leave Support Scheme
This is used for employers to help pay employees who cannot work from home while self-isolating. It is set at:
- $600.00 per week for full-time employees
- $359.00 per week for part-time employees
See Work and Income NZ for more information and applications.
Remember to look after yourselves and those around you, stay well and keep safe.
Franchise Accountants are open for business and are working remotely. If you need assistance, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or for a call back leave a message on 0800 555 8020 or 09 265 2657. They aim to call you back within 1 to 2 hours.
Members of the Franchise Association of New Zealand, and franchisees of members, can access a free workplace advice line for HR issues. If you're not sure whether your franchise is a member, check the Directory here.
For information on the sort of support that franchisors can provide to franchisees at this time, see When support really matters at https://franchise.co.nz/articles/3192
Westpac has said that they know lockdown hits businesses hard, so if your business has been financially affected by the latest COVID-19 lockdown, support options could include:
- Suspension of principal loan payments for up to three months;
- Deferred payment on business credit cards for up to three months;
- Temporary overdraft facilities for business customers.
Business or retail customers who have been affected by the latest lockdown should call Westpac on 0800 738 691 to discuss their individual needs.
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