Property Law Changes, Apprenticeship update & Wage Subsidy threshold now 40%

Wage Subsidy Extension threshold now 40% revenue drop

In our previous blog we talked about your business needing to have a 50% drop in revenue to apply for the wage subsidy extension, but today the government announced this has changed to a 40% drop in revenue for a 30 day period, in the 40 days before applying (starting no earlier than 10 May 2020). This is compared to a similar period last year.

They have also added a few more requirements:

If you have given employees notice of redundancy, you won’t be eligible to receive the subsidy for those employees unless you withdraw the redundancy notice
If the amount of the subsidy is more than an employee’s usual wages you must use the surplus to fund other employees wages where possible and, where this is not possible, return any surplus funding to MSD. These obligations will also apply to self-employed workers, ie if you are self-employed and you receive a subsidy that is more than your usual earnings, you will be required to repay the balance to MSD.
You can read more details in our previous blog or the Work and Income website.

Temporary Amendment To The Property Act

There has been a temporary amendment to the Property Act Law, which means if tenants and landlords can’t agree on a fair rent price, they’ll have to enter taxpayer-subsidised compulsory arbitration. You can read more about this here.

$400m Government Tourism Rescue Package

The Government announced a $400m Tourism Rescue package where tourism operators could qualify as a strategic tourism asset if they:

Were nationally or internationally recognised.
Were a key attraction for New Zealand or a region.
If visitors to a region would reduce if the business closed.
If there were “significant spill over benefits” for the business’ region.

You can find out more details on eligibility and how to apply here.

The Government has already backed the Waitomo Caves with $4million in rescue funding which you can read more about here.

Trades & Apprenticeship Budget Update

Louise has been on a zoom learning webinar with RoVE (Reform of Vocational Education) and Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce, to help understand what’s available for apprentices, to give client feedback on issues such as the current skills and education system for the Construction and Manfacturing Industry and to get a better understanding of where the $1.6billion Budget spend would flow through to you as an employer of apprentices and upskilling employees.

The Government / RoVE are currently establishing 6 Workforce Development Councils, with a target date of October 2020. WDC’s are a key part of the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE), enabled by the Education Amendment Act that took effect on 1 April 2020.

Once the WDC’s have been established, this will be a vehicle in which your industry can be heard and have your needs recognised, so it’s important that you speak up about your concerns. You can find out more about this here.

The Tertiary Education Commission website has some great details around:

The allocation of the Trades and Apprenticeships Training Package – View here.
The announcement of the initial list for supported training that will be funded as part of the Covid response – View here. There is also more information in the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund link. Apprentices working in all industries will have their fees paid.

If you have further questions around this topic, feel free to contact the Tertiary Education Commission on 0800 601 301 or email [email protected].

Alert Level 1

The Government will decide on when we might move to Alert Level 1 on Monday (8/06/2020), which is earlier than previously indicated. Jacinda Ardern has announced some details around what level 1 look like which you can read about here.

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for our 2020 Budget Webinar. We raised $650 for the Christchurch City Mission and $550 for The Salvation Army which will be donated today.

If you missed it, feel free to watch a copy of the recording here.