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COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment & Other Support

On 8 February 2020 the Government announced a new COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment (STAP) to support employers and self-employed workers.

The STAP is available from 9 February 2020, through Work and Income, to employers for employees, and self-employed workers, who:

  • need to miss work to stay at home while waiting on a COVID-19 test result, and
  • cannot work from home.

The STAP is a one-off payment of $350.

GST is not payable on the STAP.

For self-employed workers the STAP is considered income, so must be included on their Individual income tax return – IR3.

For employers, any amount passed on to the employee is “excluded income”, so is not included as income or claimable as a deduction on their income tax return. The employee pays tax on the amount they receive. Any excess amount not passed on to an employee is taxable and must be included on the employer's income tax return.

The STAP is paid on top of an employee’s normal salary or wage for the pay period it is received in, with PAYE and their other normal deductions (such as student loans and KiwiSaver) being made from the total payment.

For more information visit:

Other Support Available

COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is available to employers for employees, and self-employed workers, who:

  • have been told to self-isolate by a doctor or health official, and
  • cannot work from home.

Parents and caregivers who need to miss work to support their dependents who have been told to self-isolate are also eligible.

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy

The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy is only available if there is an escalation to Alert Levels 3 or 4 anywhere in New Zealand for 7 days or more.

The subsidy is available to businesses, employers and self-employed workers who have experienced a decline in revenue due to the restrictions of Alert Levels 3 and 4.

Resurgence Support Payment

A Resurgence Support Payment will also be available from early-April 2021 for eligible businesses throughout New Zealand, if there's a move to Alert Level 2 or above for 7 or more consecutive days. This one-off payment is to help businesses affected by the Alert Level upgrade with fixed costs.

If you want to talk about your situation and what you might be entitled to, give us a call.


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