COVID-19 | ADVICE AND SUPPORT FROM THE CHAMBER
The Chamber is committed to connecting our region with the latest information and support services needed to get your business, and our community through the evolving impact of COVID-19.
This page brings together all official resources to support business relating to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) which have been made available. This page is updated on a regular basis.
Got questions or need support? Call the free COVID-19 Business Helpline
All New Zealand businesses, including sole traders, can get support and advice on
- Government financial support, eg low-interest loans, tax relief
- What different alert levels mean for your business
- Business continuity
- Finding free or subsidised expert help, eg a business mentor or advisor.
Employers can also get specific advice on people challenges, including staffing changes, employee wellness, and meeting your health and safety obligations.
North Island 0800 500 362 | South Island 0800 505 096
SUPPORT SCHEMES AVAILABLE FOR BUSINESS
18 August 2021
Financial assistance will be updated shortly and we will bring you information as soon as it comes to hand.
WAGE SUBSIDY SCHEME (WSS)
This payment will be available nationally to help eligible businesses continue paying staff and protecting jobs. To reflect increased wage costs, the payments have been increased. This will be open to applications from 9am on Friday 20 August 2021, with applications initially open for two weeks.
The Wage Subsidy August 2021 will cover a two week period at the rate of:
- $600 a week for each full-time employee retained (20 hours a week or more)
- $359 a week for each part-time employee retained (less than 20 hours a week).
You can’t get a Wage Subsidy for an employee for the period they’re covered by a Leave Support Scheme or Short-Term Absence Payment.
RESURGENCE SUPPORT PAYMENT (RSP)
This will be open to applications from 8am on Tuesday 24 August 2021 and will be available until one month after a nationwide return to Alert Level 1.
This payment will be available to any business or organisation in New Zealand that experiences at least a 30% drop in revenue or a 30% decline in capital-raising ability over a 7-day period, due to a COVID-19 alert level increase of level 2 or higher.
- $1,500 plus $400 per full-time equivalent (FTE) employee, up to a maximum of 50 FTEs
- Four times (4x) the actual revenue drop experienced by the applicant.
Applications can be made at MyIR.
LEAVE SUPPORT SCHEME (LSS)
Available now to help pay workers who can’t work from home and meet certain health criteria, e.g they have COVID-19 or are a defined by Ministry of Health as a ‘close contact’ who has been told to self-isolate for 14 days (Check out Contact Tracing locations here).
The Leave Support Scheme is paid for two weeks for each eligible employee at a flat rate of:
- $585.80 a week for full-time workers (20 hours or more a week)
- $350 a week for part-time workers (less than 20 hours a week).
The rates increase to either $600 per week for full-time workers or $359 per week for part-time workers from Tuesday 24 August 2021.
SHORT-TERM ABSENCE PAYMENT (STAP)
Available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay their workers who cannot work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result (in line with public health guidance).
- It is a one-off payment of $350 for each eligible worker
The rate increases to $359 from Tuesday 24 August 2021.
EXPORT DOCUMENTATION (CERTIFICATES OF ORIGIN)
Under COVID-19 Level 4 document certifying will continue to be available.
While our office is closed for pick ups, our staff will work with you to make alternative arrangements.
Digital versions of your certificates will not be disrupted.
Covid-19 has created huge challenges for business owners. Click here to see the latest information on the vaccine, its rollout, and what you can do to help make it effective.
As a business owner you know that a community resurgence of COVID-19 risks more lockdowns, disruption and economic uncertainty.
As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out, and more people are vaccinated, the chances of community transmission is likely to lessen
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Aotearoa’s largest ever vaccination programme, started on 20 February. The government has purchased enough vaccine for everyone, with a focus on ensuring early access to people most at risk of contracting or being exposed to the virus first. COVID-19 vaccinations are free and available to everyone in New Zealand aged 16 and over.
NZ has already moved through Group 1 – border and MIQ workers, as well as their household contacts. Now NZ are working with Group 2 – high-risk frontline workers and people living in high-risk places. Those in Group 3 – which focuses on protecting people who are at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 – are scheduled to start getting their vaccinations from May onwards. The general population, Group 4, is scheduled to get their vaccinations from July onwards.
See rollout information on the Unite Against COVID-19 website
Planning your workplace COVID-19 Vaccination Response
With New Zealand now unveiling their COVID-19 vaccination roll out plan, employers will need to consider what position they will take regarding vaccination in the workplace.
Janet Copeland, Managing Partner of Copeland Ashcroft Law recently presented a seminar for Southland Chamber members, “Planning your workplace COVID-19 Vaccination Response”.
This seminar provided members information on vaccination in the workplace, focusing on these key areas
- How to shape your workplace strategy regarding vaccination
- Whether vaccination can be compulsory, and
- Workplace policies for when New Zealand moves away from the current elimination strategy.
Click here to download a copy of Janet’s presentation (PDF).
Alert Level Information
ALERT LEVEL 1 INFORMATION
The Golden Rules for everyone at Alert Level 1:
- If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
- If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline and make sure you get tested.
- Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
- Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
- If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
- If you’re concerned about your wellbeing or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.
- Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing if needed. Use the NZ COVID Tracer app as a handy way of doing this.
- Businesses should help people keep track of their movements by displaying the Ministry of Health QR Code for contact tracing.
- Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.
- People will have had different experiences over the last couple of months. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.
Page last updated: 26 Aug 2021
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