Response to COVID-19
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve done our best to inform all of our clients and prospective clients to the best of our ability. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Your satisfaction is our priority, and we are here to resolve all of your accounting issues. Read some commonly asked questions below and contact us to see how we can help.
If I am a shareholder in a business, can I apply for the wage subsidy even if I am not a normal pay run?
If you work for the business and you are paid a wage, salary or draw an income for the work you do for the business, you can apply for the wage subsidy.
The business you work for should make one application for all of its employees and shareholders who work for the business and are paid a wage, salary or draw an income for that work they do.
You can use the ‘employer’ form and the other shareholders if they are paid a wage, salary or draw an income for the work they do for the business, need to have their details entered into the employee section of the form.
Do I have to pay my employees 80% of their ordinary wages while receiving the Government Wage Subsidy?
Yes. You must make best endeavours to retain those employees and pay them at least 80% of their normal wages or salaries for the duration of the subsidy, which is 12 weeks from the date you receive the payment.
Can I use the wage subsidy to pay the rent?
No. Wage subsidy is for WAGES ONLY. It is to help you keep your staff employed while you consider changes that may be needed while the disruption continues, and to ensure the future viability of your business.
Once I received the payments, do I need to pass the full amount onto my staff straight away?
This is a government subsidy to help you to ease the cashflow pressure. How much your staff would receive will depend on their employment contract. You should pay them as usual, weekly, or fortnightly etc.
I'm an employee who works full time for a company that hasn’t been impacted by COVID-19, and I’m also self-employed. Can I apply for the wage subsidy using the self-employed application?
Yes. You can apply under the self-employed application, as long as you meet the usual criteria for your impacted business. We pay employers and self-employed contractors, not individuals. However, if you are only part-time self-employed, then your application should be at the part-time rate.
I have part time staff who work 5 hours a week. do I pay the full amount of $350 to them?
Businesses accessing the scheme must still undertake best endeavours to pay employees 80% of their pre-COVID 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 – they must pass on at least the whole value of the wage subsidy to each affected worker. Businesses must undertake to keep employees in employment for the period of the subsidy, which is 12 weeks.