Government Financial Package

23 March 2020

The Government today announced shifting to COVID-19 Level 3, and after 48 hours to COVID-19 Level 4. New terms of assistance were announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

Employers: wage subsidy scheme

The major change here is removing the $150,000 cap. There is now no limit on income subsidy so all businesses will be eligible.

Employers, contractors, sole traders or self-employed, qualify to get the COVID-19 wage subsidy.

New dentists, or those operating a new structure need to demonstrate the revenue loss assessment against a similar time period, for example a 30% loss of income, attributable to COVID-19, in March 2020 compared to January 2020.

Self-employed dentists with variable monthly incomes are eligible if they can demonstrate an assessment of lost revenue against the previous year’s monthly average for example a 30% loss of income comparing a pre-COVID-19 period e.g. March 2019 to March 2020.

If there is lost income due to COVID-19, full-time workers receive $585 per week ($350 per week for part-time workers <20 hours), paid in a lump sum package of just over $7000 covering a 12-week period.

The package is for any employer which has suffered, or is projected to suffer, a 30% decline in revenue compared to any months between January and June the previous year.

Employers are encouraged to apply for the subsidies as soon as possible.

Work and Income website  MSD will aim to make first payments no later than five working days from when applications are received.

Banking institutions: relief package

Details will be released this week about a support packaged agreed by Government, Reserve Bank and retail banks providing significant temporary support for mortgage holders and a business finance guarantee scheme for impacted businesses. Details will be made available at