New financial support for businesses affected by Omicron
25 Feb 2022

New financial support for businesses affected by Omicron


In this newsletter:

  • Managing the impact of Omicron in your business

  • New Covid Support Payment

  • Other payments available for employers

  • Access support available through Activate Tāmaki Makaurau partners

  • Employment guide for workers at different COVID-19 traffic light settings

  • Changes to Close Contact Exemption Scheme (CCES) and close contacts

  • Pacific Pay Gap Inquiry, attend workshop 23 March and join talanoa

  • Upcoming workshop calendar, book your spot now

Managing the impact of Omicron in your business

As a business owner, there are steps you can take to protect your staff and customers against Omicron. A clear plan can potentially help lessen the impact as you focus on ultimately operating in a safe way. provides advice on how to:

  • Reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections at your business

  • Have a plan for COVID-19 cases affecting your business

  • Follow public health advice if you, your workers or someone else who visits your premises has COVID-19

  • Worker exemptions from isolation requirements

  • Look after yourself and your mental health

Visit for more information what you can do to protect your workplace.

New Covid Support Payment

As announced this week by the Government, the new Covid Support Payment of $4,000 plus $400 per full-time employee - capped at 50 FTE positions, or $24,000 - will be made available to businesses.

To be eligible, you will need to show a 40 percent drop in revenue over seven consecutive days during the six weeks prior to 15 February, when the government shifted to phase two of the red light traffic system.

Applications for the first payment opens on Monday 28 February with payments starting from March 1.

Find more information on the Covid Support Payment here.

Other payments available for employers

Employers or self-employed people can apply for these payments to help pay wages. There’s no revenue test, and these payments are not a Wage Subsidy. 1. COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

Help to pay wages and salary costs for an employee who is self-isolating due to COVID-19 and can't work at home. This scheme also covers wages if your employee's household includes anyone who is self-isolating or in a high-risk group.

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is paid at the rate of:

  • $600.00 a week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week.

  • $359.00 a week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week.

Self-employed people can also apply for the Leave Support Scheme.

Learn more on the Leave Support Scheme

2.COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment

Help to pay wages and salary costs if your employee can't work while waiting for a COVID-19 test result. This helps your employee stay at home if they or anyone in their household is waiting for a test result.

There’s a one-off payment of $359 for each eligible worker. You can only apply for it once, for each eligible employee, in any 30-day period (unless a health official or doctor tells the employee to get another test).

It’s also available to self-employed people.

More on Short-Term Absence Payment here 3. Small Business Cashflow Loans Scheme

Changes are also being made to the Small Business Cashflow Loans Scheme to increase the amount of funding available to eligible businesses through the introduction of a ‘top up’ loan.

The top up loan will allow those firms that have already accessed a loan to draw down an additional $10,000 with a new repayment period of 5 years and the first 2 years being interest free.

4. Claiming deductions when your business is disrupted by COVID-19

Any businesses struggling to pay tax because of the impacts of COVID should log on to myIR to see if they can delay starting payments to a later date, or if any part of the tax could be written off. IR can help with both GST and provisional tax due.

If your business has downscaled or stopped operating due to COVID-19, you may be able to claim GST and income tax deductions for expenses and losses. This depends on whether your business has stopped operating temporarily or permanently.

Find out more about tax deductions here.

Access Support Available through Activate Tāmaki Makaurau Partners

Our Activate Tāmaki Makaurau partners are regularly adding useful and up-to-date free tools and resources you can access right now, including webinars, business continuity plans and guides, and information on how to prepare your business digitally and operationally for Omicron. Access Activate Tāmaki Makaurau Business Community resources here.

First Steps is also available to business owners and managers feeling overwhelmed, isolated, and under pressure from the impacts of COVID-19. First Steps provides health and wellbeing support, including learning and development resources, webinars and podcasts, and also provides individualised professional support for business owners. Access First Steps here.

Employment guide for workers at different COVID-19 traffic light settings

Now that New Zealand has moved to phase 3 of the red light setting find answers to frequently asked questions that workers may have at different traffic light settings. This includes questions around leave and pay, health and safety, self-isolation, workplace changes and financial support.

Visit Employment NZ for guide.

Changes to Close Contact Exemption Scheme (CCES) and close contacts

As positive case numbers increase during this Omicron outbreak, contact tracing efforts will be targeted towards high-risk exposures.  Confirmed cases will have a responsibility to inform their employer and other contacts. In most instances, workplaces will be able to undertake their own contact tracing activities if a case was there during their infectious period. There may be situations in which contact tracing is expected to be entirely managed by the case and their employer, and public health authorities may not be in touch.

Visit Ministry of Health NZ for Guidance for workplaces that have a case of COVID-19

Pacific Pay Gap Inquiry, attend workshop, join talanoa

The Human Rights Commission is conducting the Pacific Pay Gap Inquiry to better understand why the Pacific Pay Gap exists and how it can be closed.  Pacific men and women are amongst the lowest paid ethnic group in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Inquiry will consider the experiences of all Pacific workers, with a special focus on Pacific workers in three industries: Manufacturing, Construction and Health.

Through the Inquiry, the Commission hopes to recommend solutions to address the persistent Pacific Pay Gap, racial discrimination, and lack of equal employment opportunities that Pacific peoples face.

The Inquiry is being led by Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo, Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Commissioner.  Both Pacific workers and their employers are being invited to share what will help to improve working conditions and pay of Pacific workers in the construction industry up until the 31 March 2022.

Visit the Pacific Pay Gap website for more information here

If you are interested in learning more register for the Construction PPG Workshop Online - Wednesday 23 March 4-6pm workshop which will give an overview of the inquiry and provides opportunity to share your feedback on the issues faced by Pacific workers and businesses.

Register Here

PBT’s Upcoming Workshop Calendar

As business owners there are key health and safety concepts and obligations you should know to successfully run your business. Developed in collaboration with industry leading professionals, this workshop will allow you to understand the key requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, as they relate to operating a business in New Zealand.

The workshop will cover key concepts and topics relating to:

  • Primary Duty of Care

  • Overlapping duties

  • Managing risk

  • Worker engagement and participation

  • Introduction to WorkSafe

Health and Safety Expert

Our facilitator Liam Standfield is an experienced consultant who focuses on developing, implementing, and enhancing health and safety management systems. In his role, he has established tools and dashboards for reporting to management, board and external clients.

Prior to working at Deloitte, Liam led the implementation of a health and safety framework and reporting system across one of the country’s largest civil construction programmes. His work included critical risk frameworks and verification tools, hazardous substance management, contractor management, worker participation programmes and emergency management.

When Thursday, 3 March 2022 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Where Zoom Online

Register Here

You may also be interested in our upcoming workshop. Check out below for more.

Accounting and Tax – Part 1 Tuesday, 8 March 2022 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM This workshop is for new and existing business owners, entrepreneurs and sole traders wanting to strengthen their understanding of accounting and tax.

Digital Marketing for business growth Tuesday, 15 March 2022 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM This interactive workshop looks at simple and effective digital marketing strategies to understand your customers and grow your business. Designed to help Pacific business owners, sole traders and entrepreneurs reach their business goals, this workshop is packed full of tools, tips and business examples.

Subcontracting Legal Rights Thursday, 17 March 2022 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM This workshop introduces you to key legal concepts involved in any contracting arrangement, with a strong emphasis on construction subcontracts. It has a practical, pragmatic focus, to help contractors of all sizes. View here for more upcoming events


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Fast-track your business growth and success with the right support behind you.