Good morning, I hope you are all enjoying the warmer weather and making the most of it.
Today we have an update on Government subsidies, with the introduction of the Short Term Absence Payment (STAP) for people that have to isolate for a couple of days following a Covid test, new criteria for the Small Business Cashflow loan Scheme and the Government proposed relief package if we should escalate Alert levels.
Earlybird entries for the Pride In Print Awards close this Friday (12 February) so get those entries completed and sent in if you wish to save a few dollars.
And with the impending vaccine being a hot topic, I have attached a link to an interesting article that debunks 10 common misconceptions about the Covid-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, in the last 10 days we have sent off submissions opposing the permanent proposed increase to 10 days sick leave, and putting forward our views on changes proposed to industry training. Plans are underway for our 2021 training graduations in Auckland and Christchurch and we will release details of these shortly.
Read on and have a great week.
COVID-19 SUBSIDIES UPDATE
Short Term Absence Payment: This new payment, which came into effect from yesterday, is for workers staying home while waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test, who are unable to work from home.
The person who has taken the COVID-19 test can be:
- a worker (including self employed)
- someone who is a dependant of a worker (eg. children or a family member with a disability)
- someone who is a household contact or secondary contact of a person who has been identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 case.
The test must have been taken on or after 9 February 2021 and you will have 8 weeks from the date of the test to make your application. It provides a one-off amount of $350.00 for each eligible worker, regardless of whether they are working full time or part time.
You can only apply for it once, for each eligible worker, in any 30-day period (unless a health official or doctor tells the worker to get another test).
If the worker has an entitlement to either sick leave or annual leave, you can use this payment to subsidise their leave payment. If they don't have an entitlement to any leave you should use the subsidy to pay them their usual pay if it is less than the subsidy, or pay the subsidy amount if their usual pay is more.
If a worker tests positive to COVID-19 test, you can apply for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme to help pay their wages, however bear in mind you cannot apply for both the Leave Support Scheme and the Short Term Absence Payment.
Small Business Cashflow Scheme: the Government introduced new criteria to this scheme on 28 January. The changes cover four areas:
You can apply for $10,000 plus $1800 for each employee. The loan is interest free for the first two years, and has a total loan span of five years. Applications have been extended to the end of 2023.
- The date that a business or organisation was established. - you must have been in business for at least six months.
- The decline in revenue test - revenue must have declined at least 30% due to Covid-19 over any 14 day period in the last six months, compared to the same 14 days 12 months prior.
- Employee number test - 50 or less full time equivalents
- Re-borrowing - a business that has fully repaid the loan before December 2023 can borrow one more time, so long as they still meet the eligibility criteria.
Business Support Package in the event of another lockdown: The Government has proposed a package to support businesses in the event that Alert levels escalate if there is a resurgence of Covid in the community. Having this information in advance will allow you to know what levels of funding you can expect, should this occur. Click here to read the full details.
Pride In Print Awards - Earlybird Entries close Friday 12 February: If you want to take advantage of the earlybird fee, entries need to be in this Friday. If you have any queries please call Tania McDougall on 021 587072 or email email@example.com. Entry details/entry forms/online entries are available here.
10 Myths about the Covid-19 Vaccine Debunked - reproduced courtesy of Emily Writes @ The Spin Off.
Vaccines are now being rolled out around the world and will be in New Zealand shortly. There are certainly mixed opinions on them, but they are going to be important to NZ's ability to open our borders. The following article provides an insight into the vaccines and responds to some of the misconceptions circulating. Click here to read the article.