Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association of New Zealand.

Now that the wage subsidy extension is available for businesses to apply, the Restaurant Association has been fielding numerous calls from members and the industry, particularly around the application process.

Since 10 June 2020 employers have been able to apply for the extension to help further cover the wages of employees over an eight-week period. One of the key areas of confusion is when it is okay to send your application through.

As you can’t receive more than one COVID-19 payment for the same employee at the same time, if you have applied for the previous Wage Subsidy for your employee(s), you need to wait until just prior to those payments finishing before you can apply for the Wage Subsidy Extension.

Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois says to help with the process, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) will mail employers just before their current 12-week Wage Subsidy ends, letting you know when and how to apply for the 8-week extension and will list the staff who were paid the original 12-week COVID Wage Subsidy.

“If you haven’t received an email and want to apply, the Restaurant Association of New Zealand’s recommendation is to keep an eye on the applications page, work out roughly when your current Wage Subsidy period expires, and if you meet the criteria look to apply just prior to the expiry of the 12 week period from when you received your payment.

“If you do it too early, your application will unfortunately be automatically rejected until your initial 12 week period finishes.”

To keep employers keep up to date with information and obligations around the Wage Subsidy Extension, the Restaurant Association has also compiled some FaQ’s, which can be accessed here: https://www.restaurantnz.co.nz/2020/06/14/frequently-asked-questions-wage-subsidy-extension/, or members are encouraged to contact the association’s Helpline team for advice on 0800 737 827.

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