COVID-19 has now taken business to a point that we have never been at before. We are working hard to try and keep as many of you informed as possible about the actions we are taking to support the industry and your businesses.
Print is an essential service to every product that is manufactured in NZ. I am actively lobbying to have print included as an essential service. There are some loopholes in the current list where some of you will fit, but we are trying to get print added in so you are operating through a declared state, rather than a loophole. We have some excellent examples that I am using to push this through both BusinessNZ and MBIE who set the list.
As soon as we have a decision I will come back out to you and let you know whether that is approved in full, whether there is limited approval and whether there is a requirement to register.
For those of you that remain open remember you need to put a plan in place for alternative ways of working to keep employees safe, including shift-based working, staggered meal breaks, flexible leave arrangements and physical distancing.
The cap on wage subsidies has now been lifted so businesses of all sizes can apply to cover all their employees.
In a nutshell the rules are:
I have had a lot of questions about using leave balances to top up the wage subsidy to 80%. In theory you can't force your staff to use their leave, unless you give them 14 days notice. If you did so today you could certainly cover the last two weeks of shutdown in that manner. However it is financially difficult for a business that is in lockdown to top up wages, so you can offer your staff the wage subsidy and the ability to use annual leave to top up if they wish.
- The employer applies for the subsidy, not the employee.
- The employer has to do their best to keep those people in employment and to top up their wages so they receive 80% of their normal pay.
- The money is applied to their wages and is subject to PAYE, kiwisaver etc
- The business must have experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual or forecast revenue when compared to the same month the previous year.
- You must have taken active steps to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 by talking to your bank, accountant or trade association (that's PrintNZ so you are covered if you have spoken to us - we will make a note in our CRM to say that you have done so).
- The subsidy is $585.20 for full time staff (20 hours + per week) and $350 for part time workers (<20 hours). It is paid as a lump sum.
- It covers 12 weeks.
- There is no cap on how much you can apply for (prior to today this was capped at $150,000 or 21 FTEs – this is now unlimited).
- If you have more than 21 staff and have already applied listing all your staff and MSD capped the payment, they will automatically top you up.
- If you applied but stopped at 21 staff, once you have used the initial $150,000 you can apply again for the balance of your staff.
- You need consent in writing from your staff to have applied for the subsidy. You need to think about how you cover this off, but a sheet with their names listed that they sign would suffice.
We will continue to be available to you over the time of the shutdown if you have any questions or need any assistance. Feel free to call me on 027 2489404 at any time.