Commercial & Business, Employment & Health and Safety, Insights

Wage Subsidy #3

Auckland’s Level 4 lockdown is set to continue until at least 11:59 on Tuesday 21 September, after which it will drop down to Level 3. As such, Auckland businesses will continue to face significant restrictions for some time to come, and this is having flow-on effects for other New Zealand businesses outside of Auckland. In recognition of the ongoing impacts that Auckland’s elevated alert levels are having on businesses across the country, the Government is offering a third round of the Wage Subsidy, known as ‘Wage Subsidy August 2021 #3’.

The Wage Subsidy is paid in two-week periods. Two rounds of the Wage Subsidy have already been offered. Applications for the first round are now closed, and applications for the second round close at 11:59pm on Thursday 16 September.

Applications for the third round open at 9am on Friday 17 September and will remain open until 11:59pm on Thursday 30 September.

You can apply for more than one round of the wage subsidies, two weeks after your previous application, if you meet eligibility criteria. If you applied for a previous round and were eligible, Work and Income will email you to let you know when to apply for the next round. Don’t send in early applications, they won’t be accepted as each payment is for a two-week period. If you didn’t apply for the initial Wage Subsidy you can apply for Wage Subsidy #2 or Wage Subsidy #3, if you meet eligibility criteria.

A business seeking the third wage subsidy must declare that it has had or is expecting a decline in revenue attributable to Alert Level 3 or 4 of at least 40% over 14 consecutive days between 14 and 27 September, compared to a typical 14 consecutive days in the six weeks prior to the initial alert level change on 17 August or over the same 14 day period in 2020 or 2019 for seasonal businesses. Crucially, the decline must be solely because of Level 3 or 4 in Auckland (or in other parts of the country if their alert levels change), not due to Level 2 restrictions or Covid-19 generally.

If eligible, the payments will be $600 per week per full-time employee and $359 per week per part-time employee.

For the period you receive the subsidy, you must:

  • use your best endeavours to pay at least 80% of each named employee’s ordinary salary or wages, and
  • pay at least the full amount of the subsidy to each named employee,


  • where the ordinary wages or salary of a named employee as at 16 August 2021 is lawfully below the amount of the subsidy, pay the employee that amount.

Importantly, you must not make any changes to your obligations under any employment agreement, including rates of pay and hours of work, without the written agreement of the employee after consulting with them in good faith.

For more information on the Wage Subsidy visit – Information on the Wage Subsidy Scheme.