This post is by Sheral Reddy, an chartered accountant and tax specialist at GECA Chartered Accountants. Call Sheral now for tax advice on your circumstances.

Covid Leave Support Scheme and Short-Term Absence Payment

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, a lot of businesses are experiencing shortage of staff and impact on their businesses with employees having to isolate or not being able to work from home.  There are two different COVID-19 payments available for employers and self-employed people as follows:

  • COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme
    • This is for people who need to self-isolate and can’t work from home.
    • $600 is paid to each worker who were working 20 hours or more a week (full-time)
    • $359 is paid to each worker who were working less than 20 hours a week (part-time)
    • To be eligible for this payment, the employee or self-employed person has to have Covid-19 or be a household contact. Further payments can be applied depending on how long the employee needs to self-isolate.
    • Employers can apply for casual workers or staff with variable hours. A written agreement needs to be done between the employer and employee to work out the hours they would have usually worked during this period and what rate should be applied for.
  • COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment
    • This is for employees or self-employed person requiring to stay home while waiting on their Covid-19 PCR test result and they can’t work from home.
    • Employees who have to support a dependent or have children or disabled family member can also be eligible for this scheme while they wait for the COVID-19 PCR test result.
    • The employees are eligible for one-off payment of $359. It can only be paid once in a 30 day period unless a health official tells the employee or their dependent to get another test.
    • This payment is not available for employees or self-employed persons taking a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) as the results are quicker to obtain.

Before applying for the above schemes please ensure you have the following information available:

  • Your New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) if you have one available for your business
  • Your employees full name, date of birth and IRD number
  • Your bank account details
  • Your business IRD number

Please contact your GECA advisor now on 0800 758 766 if you require any assistance with applying for the above Covid-19 Payment schemes.  The link below is to assist you if you would like to apply for the payments yourself: