Your obligations for COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment

Your obligations when you receive the COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment and under employment law.

Obligations for the current Short-Term Absence Payment

These are the obligations you have if you applied for the Short-Term Absence Payment on or after 12.01am on 16 March 2022.

There are some differences between these obligations and the obligations in previous declarations before 16 March 2022. It is important that you meet the obligations in the declaration relevant to your application.

Paying your employees

You must pay your employees any amount required by their employment agreement and employment legislation. The Short-Term Absence Payment requirements do not remove or reduce this obligation.

If you are not required to pay your employee while they are waiting for COVID-19 PCR test results, you must use the Short-Term Absence Payment to either:

  • pay your employee their ordinary wages or salary if their usual wages or salary are less than the payment rate. Any difference should be used for the wages or salary of other staff, or
  • pay your employee at least the full amount of the Short-Term Absence Payment if their usual wages or salary are more than the payment rate.

Visit the Employment NZ website for information about employment law:

Retaining your employees

You must keep any employees you get the Short-Term Absence Payment for in their jobs for the employee's period of self-isolation, unless the employee voluntarily leaves their job.

Follow employment law

Regular employment law applies to all employment relationships - regardless of the circumstances that we find ourselves in. This includes anything that has been agreed to in an employment agreement.

For information on your obligations under employment law, contact Employment NZ on 0800 20 90 20 or visit their website. For example, you might have questions about:

  • employer contributions to KiwiSaver
  • holiday pay
  • annual leave.