COVID - 19
If you have queries or concerns or think there is something we can help with please don't hesitate to contact us - firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial Support for Covid-19 Lockdown - August 2021
Government has now opened the applications for the Wage Subsidy Scheme to assist employer’s through the current lockdown, therefore 3 of the 4 support schemes are now available.
Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS)
The WSS which is available nationally to support employers, so they can continue to pay employees and protect jobs for businesses affected by the move to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021.
Criteria to meet:
- You must be an eligible employer;
- Your business must be in New Zealand;
- Your employees must be legally working in New Zealand and have given their permission to the employer to apply for the WSS;
- Your business has had, or you predict will have, a decline in revenue that can be attributed to the effect of the move to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021 of at least a 40% over the period between 17 August 2021 and 30 August 2021 inclusive, (14 days) compared to a typical 14-day consecutive period of revenue in the six weeks (5 July – 16 August) immediately before the move to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021.
- Employers with highly seasonal revenue: same as the above but can be compared to the same 14 consecutive days in 2020 and/or 2019. Proof of seasonal revenue nature is required.
- You must have taken steps to mitigate the financial impact;
- You must pay employees at least the wage subsidy amount, however you need to endeavour to top up their salary to at least 80% of their normal wage. If you cannot top up, reasons for this failure can be requested;
- You must retain the employees you include in your application for the time period you receive the WSS
- Employees can request/agree to use their annual leave to top up the WSS payment or the 80% wage payment;
- All agreements regarding payments must be in writing and should be reviewed as the lock down progresses. Please refer to the variation agreement on your Employers Toolbox and /or your in-house policies regarding leave;
- If for whatever reason, you have a surplus of WSS, it can be used to top up other employees’ wages only, not for use with other business expenses;
- The wage subsidy payment to the Employer is income tax exempt;
- PAYE tax, KiwiSaver deductions and contributions for both the employee and employer must continue as normal;
- Leave entitlements continue to accrue during this period.
This will be paid as a two-week lump sum at the following rates;
- $600.00 for people working 20 hours or more per week (full-time rate)
- $359.00 for people working less than 20 hours per week (part-time rate).
Read the full declaration here - www.workandincome.govt.nz/
All information regarding the WSS can be found here - www.workandincome.govt.nz/
Resurgence Support Payment (RSP)
The RSP is a payment to assist businesses or organisations with one-off costs due to an Alert Level increase to level 2 or above. This is available to employers at the same time as the WSS and will open at 8am on the 24th of August 2021.
Leave Support Subsidy (LSS) is available here - www.workandincome.govt.nz/
The Short-Term Absence Payment (STAP) are still open and available - www.workandincome.govt.nz/
The COVID-19 crisis is continually evolving and it is difficult for operators to keep up to date with what is happening and with the amount of information being disseminated. What is clear is that the pandemic has had a significant impact on small owner operated business. Here we hope to provide you with information that is specific to bed and breakfast operators and which will help support both you and your business through this difficult period.
As an Association we are in constant contact with Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Industry Aotearoa and other industry associations to ensure bed and breakfast owners are represented and considered in the decision making processes.
The procedures and protocols that are being put in place for a successful trans-Tasman bubble will be a blueprint for opening up travel from other countries as soon as it is safe to do so.
Download the Quarantine-free Traffic Light System here.
For quarantine-free travel information
Thank you to the Accommodation Forum in developing guidelines for accommodation providers to operate within during various levels of lockdown:
As part of our protection against the spread of COVID-19 it’s important we all continue to keep track of where we’ve been and who we’ve seen - this applies to both guests coming into your property and for your personal safety when you are out and about. The NZ COVID Tracer app supports contact tracing by allowing New Zealanders to create a digital diary of the places they’ve been.
There is a self-service webform (https://qrform.tracing.covid19.govt.nz/) designed to make it easy to generate the QR codes, and a bulk-upload option (https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-resources-and-tools/nz-covid-tracer-app/nz-covid-tracer-qr-codes) for businesses and organisations that have a large number of premises.
- Self Isolation - this term will be used for those who have Covid-19 and are in isolation
- Quarantine - this is the correct term for those who are isolating themselves from others but who have not contracted the virus.
- Social Distance - Physical Distance. We need to ensure we don't distance ourselves socially from others but we also need to ensure we practice guidelines for physical distancing (see below).
Our members group Facebook page is a great place to keep up to date with information as it comes to hand. We will email you with urgent information if required. There have been some great posts and feedback from our members with lots of positive support and suggestions. If you are not a member of our Facebook group please email me with the email address used with your Facebook page and I will send you an invitation to join.
Sources of Information:
It is really important to ensure you source your information from reputable sources. The Government has also set up a new website providing one-stop shop for all Government related COVID-19 public health information and other useful websites are:
Digital Boost for small businesses including Tourism sector
Small businesses, including those in the tourism sector, will be able to benefit from a Government-funded Digital Boost skills training and support initiative.
The training is the first initiative to be launched from the Digital Boost programme which aims to support thousands of small businesses in realising the benefits of using digital tools and technologies.
Tourism businesses are among those that have suffered the most from the COVID-19 pandemic and many smaller operators may not be able to prioritise investment in digital tools, platforms, and systems.
This training could be what your business needs, and it’s free.
The training has been designed to accommodate all levels of ability and knowledge, from behind the scenes admin to showcasing your tourism offering through social media and how to maximise visitor feedback.
Find out more about the Digital Boost skills training initiative - click here
The Government has released a number of economic packages that bed and breakfast operators are able to take advantage of including:
- Business Finance Guarantee Scheme - (business loans)
- Regional Business Partner Network
- IRD - Various changes to Provisional Tax and GST
For further information - click here
Guidance on Cancellation Policies:
There has been a lot of discussion concerning cancellation policies However, if you receive a cancellation within your cancellation policy you are able to invoke the terms of your policy - if you wish.
To read more - click here
Your Health and Wellbeing:
Please remember to look after yourselves not just physically but mentally as well. This is a completely new era for us all and change is often not easy to manage. Connecting with people who make you feel safe and loved is the most important thing you can do to look after your mental health and the mental health of people around you.
On the TV1 Breakfast show, Dr. John Cameron provided answers to some great questions during a Q & A session. Watch here. Go to 2hrs18mins of the 3-hour show for the 10min segment.
The Mental Health Foundation has created a new section on their website with wellbeing tips and answers to FAQs - click here.
And, you can speak with a trained counsellor at any time - free call 1737 or text 1737 – it's free and confidential so please don't hesitate to to contact them if you feel you need to.
Links to other useful information:
Social (now Physical) Distancing? How can we practice this (Click the link here for a video)
Self Isolation - (Quarantine) What does this mean?
Health Advice - symptoms, prevention.
Managing your Mental Health & Wellbeing / Taking Care of Children
Assets Kit with downloadable resources you may find useful.
General cleaning information
Information for Hotels and Hotel Staff
WorkSafe information about the business and worker requirement for keeping people safe and well in the workplace.
Business Continuation Insurance - David Rush Vision Insurance
TIA’s strategic partner Marsh insurance coverage information