Apprenticeship Boost & Link to apply, R & D loans, Overseas Workers & More

Apprenticeship Boost for Businesses
We now have more specific detail on the $380.6 million initiative to help keep apprentices employed, and to ensure apprentices continue to start training throughout the recovery of COVID-19. Here are a few of the main details:
• The Apprenticeship Boost will support up to 36,000 apprentices per year (including new apprentices), by providing a subsidy to around 18,000 employers.
• Employers would be able to access support from either Apprenticeship Boost, Mana in Mahi, or the Regional Apprenticeships Initiative (depending on the type of apprentice you employ)
• To be eligible, the apprentice has to be enrolled in a TEC-approved New Zealand Apprenticeship or Managed Apprenticeship programme. These will be level 4 and at least 120 credits.
• All employers who have an eligible apprentice will be able to receive a base subsidy rate up to $12,000 per annum ($1,000 per month) for first year apprentices and up to $6,000 per annum ($500 per month) for second year apprentices through the Apprentice Boost. Mana in Mahi and some Regional Apprenticeships participants will get a higher subsidy to reflect the different level of need of the individual apprentices (or pre-apprentice trainees) involved.

You can find out more details and the link to apply here.

Are You Having Trouble With Your Tenant Or Landlord?
The Temporary Amendment to the Property Act applies from the 4th of June 2020 and ends 6 months after enactment. The amendment is only for:
• Lessors and lessees who cannot agree on lease terms, and the lessee is adversely affected by COVID 19.
• Applications are only for small firms where the lessor and lessee both have no more than 20 full-time ‘personnel’ (see below).
You can read more about this update here.

Research & Development Loan Scheme
An R&D loan has been set up for businesses affected by COVID-19 to encourage R&D-performing businesses to continue R&D programmes.
• Businesses can apply for a loan between $30,000 and $400,000 to cover costs associated with R&D.
• The loan interest will be charged at 3% from the start of the loan unless repaid in the first year.
• The Government has allocated $150m for the R&D loan scheme.
• The loan can also be used in conjunction with other Callaghan project funding.
For more details and the links to apply click here.

Getting Skilled Workers From Overseas
Tighter rules for importing critical workers were released last week. The workers must:
• Have skills that are needed for critical projects, that aren’t available here in New Zealand.
• Be paid over $106,080 p.a.
• Employers are responsible for paying for the worker to quarantine when they arrive into the country.
Other than critical workers, it may become harder to import or retain migrant staff more generally, as many New Zealanders have been laid off and are now available for employment.

Triangular Employment Amendment Bill Changes
Triangular employment is changing from 28 June 2020. Triangular employment is where an employee is employed by one business, but works for, and is controlled by another business (eg temp agency or labour hire workers).

At the moment, an employee can only raise a personal grievance against their employer. From 28 June 2020, any business who has control over the employee (even if they’re not the employee’s employer) can be joined to a personal grievance. If that personal grievance is successful, the costs and compensation awarded to the employee will be split between the employer and the business based on how much they contributed to the situation. Businesses who use labour hire / temp workers will now be exposed to more liability about how they treat their workers.

A Great Example Of Kiwi’s Thinking Out Of The Box
Say hello to Kai, New Zealand’s first robot supermarket worker. Kai is a fully automated store-scanning machine built to roam the store and find empty shelves at Rototuna Countdown. As well as alerting staff to those empty shelves, Kai is also designed to identify hazards on the ground, including spillages and knocked over products.
See more about this here.