How to apply for the COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment

Businesses and self-employed people can apply for the COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment using our online application form.

Businesses and self-employed people can apply for the COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment using our online application form.

The Short-Term Absence Payment is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay their workers who cannot work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result.

The COVID-19 test must have been taken within the last eight weeks, but not before 9am on 9 February 2021.

You can only apply for it once, for each eligible worker, in any 30-day period (unless a health official or doctor tells the worker to get another test).

Already applied

If you've already applied for this payment and you're applying again for the same worker, you can follow the same process below again. You’ll need to make sure that

  • your business is eligible for the payment
  • your worker is eligible for the payment
  • if you are applying for a second payment for the same worker within a 30-day period, the worker has been advised to get another test by a health official or doctor and you are applying at least three days after your previous application.

If your worker has a positive COVID-19 test, you can apply for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme to help pay their wages. You’ll need to do this three days after you’ve applied for the Short-Term Absence Payment.

Fill out the online form

Which online form you fill out depends on whether you have people working for you or not.

  • You have people working for you

    Information

    Please make sure the details you provide match those held by Inland Revenue.

    Differences will slow down your application and may result in it being declined.

    When you apply you will need to give us your:

    • business IRD number (this could include your partnership IRD number or company IRD number
    • IR customer name (this is the name that's linked to your business IRD number)
    • New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) if you have one
    • business address
    • your contact name, email address and mobile number
    • bank account number
    • your worker’s details:
      • names
      • dates of birth
      • IRD numbers.
  • You don't have people working for you

    This means you're only applying for yourself.

    Information

    Please make sure the details you provide match those held by Inland Revenue.

    Differences will slow down your application and may result in it being declined.

    When you apply you will need to give us your:

    • business IRD number (this is your personal IRD number)
    • employment type (whether you're working less than 20 hours, or 20 hours or more)
    • IR customer name (this is your name, not your trade name)
    • business address
    • contact name, email address and mobile number
    • bank account number.
  • If you're a state sector organisation

    A state sector organisation, with its monitoring agency, can ask for an exception to become eligible to apply for the Short-Term Absence Payment. State sector organisations should contact their monitoring agency if they wish to discuss this.

  • If you've made a mistake on your application

    You can call us on 0800 40 80 40 and we'll fix it for you.

    If you have applied for the Short-Term Absence Payment in error, you will need to repay this in full.

You'll be asked to declare you meet the criteria and agree to the obligations for the use of the payment. All payments could be subject to audits and reviews.

If you have questions, you can call us on 0800 40 80 40.