Updated: COVID Support for Businesses & Self Employed People (Including Wage Subsidy March 2021)

March 2nd 2021
With Auckland at Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country at Alert Level 2, there is a range of support available for businesses and self-employed people. This includes a Wage Subsidy scheme, a Resurgence Support Payment, a Leave Support scheme and a Short-term Absence Payment available nationwide.

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy March 2021

The Wage Subsidy is a payment to support both employers and self-employed people, so they can continue to pay employees and protect jobs for businesses affected by the current rise in Alert Levels.


If your business experiences a 40% decline in revenue during this Alert Level shift, you may be eligible to apply. All the information and the application form will be available on the Work and Income website from 1:00pm on Thursday 4 March here:



Payments of the Wage Subsidy will start from Monday 8 March 2021.



COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment

This support is available via the Inland Revenue Department for businesses and self-employed people. If your business income will decline by 30% due to Alert Level increases, you may be eligible for the Resurgence Support Payment. Information on eligibility and a Resurgence Support Payment calculator are available here:


Applications are open now for businesses affected by the February alert Level until 22 March and businesses can apply through their MyIR accounts. Businesses affected by the current Alert Level shift can apply from 8 March. If you have experienced a 30% revenue loss as a result of both periods at higher alert levels, you will need to make two applications (as you would be eligible for two payments). ‘Highly seasonal businesses’ will need to show a comparative revenue period at a similar point in the seasonal cycle.

Further information on the Resurgence Support Payment is available on the IRD website here:




COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment

This is available for employers and self-employed people through Work and Income NZ.  It is a one-off payment of $350 if you or your staff need to take time off and cannot work from home while you await the result of a COVID-19 test. More information is available here:




COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is available for employers, including self-employed people, to help pay their employees who need to self-isolate and can't work from home. This is for people can't come into work because they are in one of the affected groups and have been told to self-isolate, and they can't work from home. More information is available here:





More information about the COVID-19 support through Work and Income is available here:




A list of all the COVID related financial support available for NZ businesses and self-employed people is available on official NZ Government COVID-19 website here:



There is also a online tool to help you identify what COVID support might be available for your circumstances that you can find here:





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