COVID-19 Information Page
Updated: Mar 23
Please check this site before others: www.covid19.govt.nz
Measuring the impact of COVID-19 on regional economies
The closure of our borders will have affected the international tourism industry. Infometrics is currently modelling this to measure the impact on the national and regional economies. In the next step they will extend this analysis to incorporate other industries.
They aim to release a detailed report in the week of 30 March on the employment effects of COVID-19 on the regions. It will include their analysis of the impact of the cut in international tourism. It will also draw together a range of indicators of regional economic performance. WEDS will review this closely and share. We are also working with Infometrics on a customised briefing for our area.
Infometrics has already prepared a range of insights on COVID-19, which are available here. https://www.infometrics.co.nz/product/covid-19-economic-insights-and-response/.
As many of you will be aware, the government has announced a range of measures to support business during this time. The most short term of these are the Wage Subsidy and the Leave Payment. These are available to self-employed people who have no staff other than themselves.
- Lump sum payment for 12 weeks at $585.80 (full time) or $350 (part time) weekly.
- You need to show a 30% decline in turnover vs. the same period last year. If your business is new or changed, they accept projected earnings in some circumstances.
- You must have taken active steps to mitigate the impact of Covid-19. In my understanding currently, that just means that you are acting sensibly and responsibly with regards to working without increasing the risk to customers or others. Further ideas are in the last link below.
- Sole Traders and Partnerships will need to apply for an NZBN before applying. (Limited companies will have one automatically).
- For people who need to self-isolate as per Ministry of Health guidelines, or who are sick with Covid-19 or are caring for someone who is.
- Does not apply if you are able to work from home etc.
- 8 weeks at a time, same rates as above.
- There are some qualifications - e.g., if you are self employed, you must be earning at least the equivalent of the minimum wage.
The mechanics for applying for these are very simple. You apply online via the Work & Income website, and it is a short application process. The website says that they will contact you if they require further information once you have submitted it.
From an accounting point of view, there are a few things to be aware of;
- Your workings with regard to the 30% decline need to be recorded carefully, and saved in case they come back later asking for further verification - it appears that they may not be checking them in detail initially.
- There may be a delay for the effect to take hold and for the decline to show in your accounts. For some it will be obvious straight away, others may have to monitor their figures over the next few months to see if they qualify.
Please also remember that if your business is affected and you qualify for Working for Families, you can estimate your income down accordingly for the coming year to raise WFF payments. They like this info to come via secure message from your tax agent, so please contact them with your revised income figures they can communicate this to Inland Revenue.
This will be a busy time for government departments, and we are unsure how the processing times will be. As always, the earlier the application is made the better, once you have the necessary details.
https://services.workandincome.govt.nz/ess/trader_applications/newMinimising the risk of Covid-19 in your workplace