Tax Talk | Wage Subsidy Updates

Over the last couple of days, the government has provided more information about both the wage subsidy and the resurgence support payment. Both the wage subsidy and the resurgence support payment are available to businesses nationwide, and not just within the Auckland area.

Time to read: 2 mins

This newsletter supersedes our previous communications about the wage subsidy and resurgence payments.

The packages as they currently stand are as follows:


Resurgence Support Payment

A grant of $1,500 per applicant, plus $400 per full time equivalent (FTE) up to a cap of 50 FTEs (so, a maximum grant of $21,500) is available every time alert levels are changed.  Other key criteria are:

  • The business must have suffered a decline in revenue of 30% or more. This is calculated by comparing the seven day period during the higher alert level with typical weekly revenue in the six weeks preceding the move from Level 1.
  • A business cannot receive a payment of more than four times the amount their revenue has declined by.

The Minister of Finance has announced the two alert level changes (14 February and 28 February) are being treated as separate events.  Therefore, a business who suffered the prerequisite decline in revenue between 14 February and 21 February and again since 28 February can apply for two resurgence support payments.

Applications for the first resurgence support payment close on 22 March.  Applications for the second resurgence support payment open on 8 March and will close one month after New Zealand returns to Level 1.  This application must be done through Inland Revenue, using myIR.


Wage Subsidy

The payment is $585.80 per week for each full time worker and $350 per week for each part time worker.  Other key criteria are:

  • The business must suffer a 40% decline in revenue over any consecutive 14 day period between 28 February and 21 March compared with a typical 14 day period over any typical 14 day period between 4 January and 14 February
  • At an absolute minimum, the value of the subsidy must be paid to employees, but best endeavours should be made to meet 80% of the wage/salary bill of each employee

Active measures need to be taken to mitigate the impact of lockdowns as well, and we have encountered situations where applications were queried because active measures (for example, activating a business continuity plan) were not taken.

The payment will be made each fortnight the Level 3 restrictions last.  The wage subsidy will be rounded up to the nearest fortnight.

Applications will be open from 1pm on 4 March, with payments due from 8 March.  A link for applications is available on the Work and Income New Zealand website (here).



A business meeting the necessary criteria can apply for all the packages; there is no need to pick and choose.

We note the situation is fluid at the moment, and we have been fortunate the government has been quick to assure businesses that support will be available using programmes they are familiar with.

While support is welcome, the differing names and differences in revenue decline between the resurgence support payment and the wage subsidy do not make life simple.

Your Baker Tilly Staples Rodway advisor can assist with the review of calculations or answer any queries you may have.

DISCLAIMER: Our team is dedicated to helping you continue with business as usual, as much as you can. Information on government help is changing constantly and within hours of articles being added, the specifics may be out of date or only partially accurate. While we endeavour to keep this website accurate and current, our top priority is providing our clients with dedicated and relevant personal advice. If you need specific and up-to-date information, please seek help from your usual advisor directly.

No liability is assumed by Baker Tilly Staples Rodway for any losses suffered by any person relying directly or indirectly upon any article within this website. It is recommended that you consult your advisor before acting on this information.

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