Note that applications for the first round close 11:59 pm this Thursday the 2nd of September. A second round starts 9:00 am Friday. A business that did not meet the turnover eligibility for the first round can apply for the second round if it now qualifies. Full details of the second round are yet to be released.
Wage Subsidy period
We have had a few questions about the period that the Wage Subsidy covers. Where a business received the Wage Subsidy it received an email saying that the subsidy applies for the two-weeks from the date of the application. This does not seem to be correct as the Wage Subsidy declaration clearly refers to the subsidy relating to revenue dropping for the period between 17 August 2021 until 31 August 2021.
On the face of it, businesses who took a conservative approach and waited to ensure that their turnover drop appears to be disadvantaged by being cautious. We reached out to MSD for clarification on this point. We have not had a response, but we note that the Wage Subsidy webpage has been updated with information that seems to clarify MSD’s position.
The following was taken from the WINZ website this morning:
“The Government has approved another wage subsidy. Applications for Wage Subsidy August 2021 #2 will open at 9.00 am on Friday 3 September. This is for all businesses and self-employed people who have or predict at least a 40% decline in their revenue from 31 August to 13 September and meet all the eligibility criteria.
Businesses that applied for the initial Wage Subsidy August 2021 payment and who meet all the eligibility criteria for Wage Subsidy #2, can apply for another wage subsidy payment two weeks after their previous application. So, if someone applied on 23 August, they could apply for Wage Subsidy #2 on 6 September. Early applications can’t be accepted as each payment is for two weeks.”
On further reflection, it does appear that businesses who waited to make an application are actually disadvantaged because the revenue drop test period for the second round is also measured for a fixed period between 31 August and 13 September. Therefore, even if the application for the first round was late (but before the 3rd of September), the business is not disadvantaged because, regardless of the application date, the period the subsidy is being paid for remains the same. Businesses will only become disadvantaged if there are future rounds of wage subsidies that are not tied to specific two-week blocks.
Ability to reapply for the RSP
As it stands now, it seems that an RSP payment can only be claimed for one 7-day period. When the RSP was activated it was in response to a “short and sharp” lockdown. The short and sharp lockdown has already lasted two weeks and looks set to last quite a while longer for at least parts of the country but so far, no changes have been made to the RSP process.
Only allowing a claim for one 7-day period makes this a very stingy scheme. Hopefully, further RSP payments are activated in the very near future.