Business Owner’s Quick and Easy Guide to Additional Government Support for COVID-19 Outbreaks in 2021

I realise that it can be very confusing to know what government support is available at different alert levels, so I have compiled the below summary of what support packages are currently available.

Hopefully, this will help to clarify any issues and reduce your stress levels.

Financial support available at different alert levels:

All COVID-19 support initiatives generally have minor eligibility requirements that must be met.

I have detailed below the latest Government Support packages that have been made available to businesses this year plus some of the details and links relating to this support:

  1. Resurgence Support Payments – these payments may be activated if there is a specific alert level increase from Level 1 for at least 7 calendar days. The main eligibility requirement is that Businesses experience a minimum of a 30% drop in revenue over a 7-day period after an alert level increase.  This drop is to be compared to a typical 7-day period in the 6 weeks prior to the increase in alert level(s).  Please note that you – as the Business Owner – get to choose which 7-day period in the last 6 weeks you want to compare against. This payment is not a loan, so does not need to be repaid.  The payment must be used to help cover business expenses such as wages and fixed costs.  Applications will remain open for 1 month after the return to Alert Level 1. The current round of applications will close on 23 March 2021.

    You can apply for the Resurgence Support Payment through you myIR account by clicking on the “I want to… More❯button and entering “resurgence” into the search bar.

    You can apply for the lesser of: 

    • $1,500 plus $400 per full-time equivalent (FTE) employee, up to a maximum of 50 FTEs or
    • Four times (4x) the actual revenue drop experienced by the business.

    Please note that the amount payable may be amended as it is currently only based on a 7 day increase in alert levels.  Click this Inland Revenue link for more information, including how to apply and how to calculate your drop in revenue. 

  1. Wage Subsidy – Businesses will be eligible for the Wage Subsidy if they experience a 40% drop in predicted or actual revenue over a consecutive 14-day period, compared to a typical fortnightly revenue in the six weeks before the rise in alert level(s). You will need to be able to show that the revenue drop is due to the change in alert level(s) and not just COVID-19 in general.


  2. Short-Term Absence Payments – The COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment helps businesses to pay their employees who cannot work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result. This payment is also available to self-employed people.  The payment helps businesses keep paying employees who:
    1. Cannot work from home, and
    2. Need to stay at home while waiting on a COVID-19 test result. 

This must be in line with the Public Health Guidance.

A one-off payment of $350 is available for each employee.  You can apply for it once for each eligible employee in any 30-day period.  However, you can apply for it again if a health official or doctor tells them to get another test.  Your business should also encourage employees to call Healthline or talk to their doctor if they are unwell.  The below link includes application details:

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment, and how to apply

  1. Leave Support Scheme – The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme provides a payment to businesses to pay their workers who meet certain health criteria, such as having COVID-19. It is also available to the self-employed.  If you or your staff have been told by a health official to self-isolate and cannot work from home, you can apply for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme.  This support will be paid as a lump sum covering two weeks.  The support payments are:
    1. $585-80 per week for full-time employees working 20 hours plus per week or
    2. $350 per week for part-time employees working less than 20 hours per week

If two weeks is not enough time to cover for absent employees than you can reapply for additional funds as required. 

Please note that there is no requirement to show an actual or predicted revenue drop or that your ability to support an employee has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.  For additional information please see the following Work and Income links:

Leave Support Scheme
How to apply for the Leave Support Scheme

If you have any queries about, or need help in accessing any of the above, please feel free to give me a call on
(021) 625 871.

If you require any additional business support, please see my website which details my full range of services, all of which are registered with the Regional Business Partner Network – which provides up to $5,000 in co-funding per government financial year to eligible businesses – to subsidise up to 50% of my fees.