COVID-19 update from Laurenson Chartered Accountants
As you will be aware the COVID-19 financial support details are fluid, over the weekend we have seen changes to the way the support is applied.
Below we outline the latest information directly from the government websites, this information is based on the questions we are receiving from our clients:
Wage Subsidy scheme
The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy will be paid at a flat rate of:
Employers must make best endeavours to pay employees 80% of their normal income. Where that is not possible – in particular where a business has no activity whatsoever due to the shutdown and workers are not working any hours – employers must pass on at least the whole value of the wage subsidy to each affected worker. If a person’s income is normally less than the subsidy, they can be paid that normal salary.
The subsidy is paid as a lump sum to the employer to pass on to employees and covers 12 weeks per employee.
The wage subsidy is a Government payment to help employers pay wages. It does not change any other employment law obligations, meaning employees must be paid appropriately under their employment agreements for the hours they work during the lockdown.
Key takeout at this stage:
Protection for renters and tenants
Residential renters and tenants
Support is available to ensure renters stay in their rental properties with a 6-month freeze on residential rent increases and increased protection from having tenancies terminated.
Period of measures
For more information, click here
Commercial tenants should check their leases – the Auckland District Law Society lease provides relief to tenants in circumstances where, the event of emergency, the tenant is unable to gain access to its premises for reasons relating to public safety or the need to overcome any harm or hazard. It should be noted that the relevant provisions are contained only in lease documents which post-date 2011.
We recommend you make contact with your lawyer to get them to check the version of your lease and to get advice on this.
Mortgage repayment holiday schemes
New Zealand’s retail banks are offering to defer repayments for all residential mortgages for up to 6 months for customers financially affected by COVID-19.
Mortgage repayment deferrals mean that affected customers who apply to their bank will not make principal and interest payments on their loans for up to 6 months. This package is in addition to what banks are already doing individually to provide assistance to affected customers.
Key details of this scheme:
Click here for COVID-19 website and further details about Financial support.
Our contact details:
Kaye Francis: 027 466 9405 (please do not use 04 477 1801)
Main email: email@example.com
Avril firstname.lastname@example.org 027 466 9041
Arran email@example.com 027 466 9414
Jeremy firstname.lastname@example.org 021 919 888