Here at PANZ we support the government’s effort to contain COVID-19, and we are committed to doing whatever we can to help.
As of Sunday 28 February Auckland is in Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand is in Alert Level 2.
Useful Resources and links
Resurgence Support Payment
From 23 February 2021 until 23 March 2021, a Resurgence Support Payment will be available if we are at Alert Level 2 or above for a week or more. Businesses and the self-employed will be eligible if they experience an actual decline in revenue of 30% over a 14-day period. The decline in revenue must be as a result of the specific Alert Level escalation, not just COVID-19 in general.
You must have been in business for at least six months to be eligible. Pre-revenue firms, such as start-ups are also eligible.
Charities and not-for-profit organisations are also eligible.
You have until 23 March 2021 to apply through myIR.
Short-Term Absence Payment
A Short-Term Absence Payment is available at all Alert Levels to employers to pay workers who follow public health guidance and stay home while waiting for a COVID-19 test result. To be eligible, workers need to miss at least one shift of work, and be unable to work from home.
The payment is $350 for each worker. Employers or the self-employed can apply for any worker once in any 30-day period.
COVID-19 Small Business Cashflow (Loan) Scheme (SBCS) extended
The Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme has been extended until the end of 2020. Applications opened on 12 May 2020 and can now be submitted up to and including 31 December 2023.
Organisations and small to medium businesses, including sole traders and the self-employed, may be eligible for a one-off loan with a term of 5 years if they have been adversely affected by COVID-19.
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 means your workers:
- can’t come into work because they are in one of the affected groups and have been told to self-isolate, and
- can’t work from home.
COVID-19 Temporary loss carry-back scheme
A temporary loss carry-back scheme has been introduced to support customers in the current uncertain economic environment. Businesses expecting to make a loss in either the 2020 year or the 2021 year can use that loss to offset profits they made the year before. In other words, they can carry the loss back one year to the preceding income year. This can be done before the loss year return is filed. More details can be found here.
Workplace operations at COVID-19 alert levels
Following the announcement from the Prime Minister on 16 April, new guidance has been released about workplace activities at different alert levels.
Businesses should help customers to keep track of where they’ve been by displaying the NZ COVID Tracer QR code poster.
Find out how to get your NZ COVID Tracer code poster.
Information addressing some frequently asked questions as well as examples of what each alert level might look like for different kinds of businesses can be found here.
The covid19.govt.nz website has more information.
COVID-19 Income Relief Payment
The COVID-19 Income Relief Payment has now stopped. The final day of the Income Relief Payment was 4 February 2021.
COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Extension – The subsidy has now ended
COVID-19: Business debt hibernation
Business debt hibernation helps companies, trusts and other entities affected by COVID-19 manage their existing debts until they can start trading normally again. For example, businesses may agree with creditors to delay repaying some of their debt.
Details can be found here.
Unfortunately, sole traders aren’t eligible for business debt hibernation. If you are a sole trader and seeking government support, check out the cash flow loans and support page here.
Government support for small businesses (1 May)
The Government will provide interest free loans for a year to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 economic shock to support their immediate cashflow needs and meet fixed costs. The scheme will provide up to $100,000 to firms employing 50 or fewer FTE employees. Applications open on 12 May and will be managed by Inland Revenue.
The new COVID-19 Advisory Helpline on 0800 500 362 can answer queries from Auckland businesses related to RBPN and other government business support.
Leave and Self-isolation Support
Support is also available for sick leave for staff who are required to self-isolate. These payments must be passed directly to the relevant staff. Useful links to the Government sites with more detail on the support available and to the online application portals are here and here.
Business Cashflow and Tax Measures
Other government measures include relief if you are unable to meet your tax obligations due to the impact of COVID-19. Assistance for businesses can be found here, assistance for individuals can be here and the Proposed Business Continuity Package for 2020/2021 here.
IRD advice on dealing with COVID-19 can be found here
Self-employed Creative Sector Workers
We have received information from WeCreate regarding the self-employed creative sector workers’ eligibility for the COVID19 wage subsidy which might be of use to you. The Ministry of Social Development have been in discussion with Inland Revenue and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and have advised:
- Creative sector workers who can demonstrate either a 30%+ decline due to COVID-19 in their average monthly revenue across the last 12 months, or can provide proof of cancellations of work due to COVID-19 amounting to a 30%+ decline in revenue, will be eligible to access the Wage Subsidy.
- Self-employed creative sector workers whose primary source of income is from their creative endeavours, and who otherwise qualify for the Wage Subsidy, will be eligible as ‘working 20 hours or more per week’.
- Self-employed applicants should type in ‘Sole Trader’ in the ‘NBN number’ field of the application form.
- MSD were a little unclear as to the requirements for licences, permits, qualifications and such (as below), but seem most concerned about the economic criteria as above, and suggested that the below are not likely to require proof – though they will look into it:
The criteria also state that Sole Traders must have:
- government licences and permits for their business needs, and
- qualifications or registrations for their trade or profession
WeCeate advise that increasing numbers of sole traders and small businesses in the creative sector are being accepted for, and receiving, the wage subsidy with no issues. The scheme seems to be operating on a very high level of trust – so all applicants must ensure that they are able to prove their financial criteria for receiving the subsidy in due course.
Essential Services during Alert Level 4
Essential services are any the Government has decided can continue operating at their premises, under Alert Level 4. All essential services will still need to operate in a way that limits the risk of the spread and transmission of COVID-19.
The government has updated its list of ‘essential services’ as of 1 April 2020. For a more details and a full list of essential services click here.
Creative New Zealand response to COVID-19
Creative New Zealand has opened its first phase Emergency Response Package, a $16 million investment to be distributed to the arts sector through to 30 June 2020 (the end of Creative New Zealand’s financial year). For more details and to apply click here.
For information on the Creative New Zealand’s COVID-19 Response plus other resources and information relevant for literary publishers click here
Education New Zealand
For Education New Zealand’s response to the outbreak click here.
International Publishers Association
The International Publishers Association is gathering links to the activities of publishers, their associations and governments on its site here.
The PANZ office is now open again and Catriona and Katherine are available by phone and email; please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Likewise PANZ Council will continue to work on support for members.