The Government’s wage subsidy scheme has evolved over time in response to unanticipated issues and uncertainties. This rapidly shifting policy has understandably left many employers feeling confused about whether they can apply for the subsidy and what their obligations are if they do.
In this article we answer common employer questions on the wage subsidy.
The wage subsidy is $585.80 per week for employees working 20 or more hours per week and $350 per week for employees working less than 20 hours per week. It is paid in one lump sum for a 12 week period. Only one application can be made per employee.
Yes, provided that the employee would have expected to work during the period of the wage subsidy. Where an employee has (or had) variable hours, an employer should use an average of hours worked per week over the last 12 months to determine whether they should be applied for on the basis of 20 hours or more or less than 20 hours.
To apply for the subsidy an employer must show:
• A 30% drop in revenue from the same month last year, related to COVID-19; or
• Grounds to predict that its revenue will experience a 30% drop. But if you do not experience a 30 drop in revenue you must pay the subsidy back; and
• That it has taken active steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on its business. This includes engaging with its bank, drawing down on cash reserves and/or making an insurance claim.
For applications made after 27 March 2020, employers must declare that:
Employers who submit a misleading or fraudulent application will commit a criminal offence. It’s therefore important that employers are aware of their obligations and seek further legal advice if necessary. Please contact Hayley at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need advice on applying the wage subsidy