Declaration for the COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment

This declaration applies to you if you applied, or re-applied, for the COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment before 4pm on 12 March 2021. 

By submitting this form, you are declaring that:

Your business meets the eligibility criteria to apply for the Covid-19 Short-term Absence Payment (the subsidy or STAP):

  • You operate a business (being a registered business, sole trader, self-employed person [1], registered charity [2], incorporated society [3], non-government organisation, or post settlement governance entity) in New Zealand that employs and pays the employees named in your application; and
  • You:
    • have not, during the 30 days prior to the date of your application to receive the subsidy (your application), received a STAP payment in respect of any of the employees named in your application; or
    • are making a further application within 30 days of the date of your previous application in respect of an employee named in your application because the employee has informed you that in order for them to comply with advice [4] they or their dependant is being re-tested for COVID-19, or, where the employee is a household member or secondary contact of a close contact (as described in public health guidelines), the close contact is being re-tested for COVID-19, and, as a result, the employee is not able to work, is staying at home, and is unable to work from home while waiting for the relevant COVID-19 test result [5]; and
  • You are making your application within 8 weeks from the date of the relevant COVID-19 test and the test was carried out on or after 9 February 2021;
  • At the time the employee(s) named in your application is unable to work, you are not receiving a payment under the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme or a COVID-19 Wage Subsidy in respect of any of the employees named in your application.

Your application applies to your employees who meet the following criteria

  • Each employee [6] named in your application is:
    • legally employed in New Zealand by your business as at the date of your application;
    • not able to be at work, is staying home, and is unable to work from home while waiting for:
      • their COVID-19 test result; or
      • the COVID-19 test result of a dependant; or
      • where the employee is a household member or secondary contact of a close contact (as described in public health guidelines), the COVID-19 test result of the close contact.
  • Each of the employees named in your application is not:
    • a person who meets the eligibility for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme as at the date of the relevant COVID-19 test;
    • an employee who has routine testing in their workplace, such as a border worker or MIQ worker (unless they are symptomatic); or
    • employed as an air crew member (as defined in the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Required Testing) Order 2020) and required to comply with any orders made pursuant to the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 (except if they are unable to work from home while waiting for the COVID-19 test result of a dependant, or, where the employee is a household member or secondary contact of a close contact (as described in public health guidelines), the close contact; or
    • a non-symptomatic person participating in surveillance testing or a person who has not been notified through contact tracing to stay home in accordance with public health guidelines; or
    • staying in managed isolation facilities; or
    • a New Zealander who is currently overseas.

Your obligations to use the subsidy to retain and pay your employees

  • You acknowledge that the granting of your application and your receipt of the subsidy does not override or alter your existing obligations under employment law, including (but not limited to) the Employment Relations Act 2000, Minimum Wage Act 1983, Holidays Act 2003 and Health and Safety at Work Act 2015;
  • You will not make any changes to your obligations under any employment agreement, including to rates of pay, hours of work and leave entitlement, without the written agreement of the relevant employee; [7]
  • You will not unlawfully compel or require any of the employees named in your application to use their leave entitlements for the period you receive the subsidy in respect of those employees; [8]
  • You will use the subsidy for the following purposes:
    • where an employee is entitled, pursuant to their employment agreement or statutory obligations, to be paid while they are waiting for the relevant COVID-19 test result, to pay the employee their ordinary wages and salary; or
    • where an employee is not entitled, pursuant to their employment agreement or statutory obligations, to be paid while they are waiting for the relevant COVID-19 test result, you will:
      • use the subsidy to pay the employee their ordinary wages or salary while they are waiting for the relevant COVID-19 test result, as if they were entitled to be paid pursuant to their employment agreement or statutory obligations; or
      • pay at least the full amount of the subsidy to the employee while they are waiting for the relevant COVID-19 test result.
  • where the ordinary wages or salary of an employee named in your application is lawfully below the amount of the subsidy, use the subsidy to pay the employee the lesser amount while they are waiting for the relevant COVID-19 test result.
  • Ordinary wages or salary means:
    • in relation to an employee named in your application, the ordinary wages or salary as specified in the employee's employment agreement or in accordance with relevant statutory obligations as at the date you apply for this subsidy; or
    • in relation to you if you are a sole trader or self-employed person, the weekly amount that you regularly paid yourself as at the date you applied for this subsidy.
  • You will use the subsidy for the purposes of meeting your obligations set out in this declaration but any surplus not required to be used to pay an employee named in your application must be used for the purposes of paying the ordinary wages or salary of other employees.

Providing information about you, your business and your employees to the Ministry

You will provide the Ministry of Social Development [9] with information about you, your business and (with their consent) the employees named in your application to the extent required by the Ministry of Social Development or its auditors to make decisions about your application, and to audit and review any subsidy that is granted (to you or another applicant) and how any subsidy granted is paid to employees.

Consent to the Ministry sharing information about your application with other agencies

You consent to the Ministry of Social Development sharing information about you or your business provided with respect to your application (both at the time of application, and any information provided at a later time) with other agencies (including non-government agencies) to the extent necessary to make decisions about your application, and to audit and review any subsidy that is granted (to you or another applicant) and how any subsidy granted is paid to employees.

Consent to other agencies providing information about you to the Ministry

You consent to other agencies (including non-government agencies) providing information about you or your business to the Ministry of Social Development or its auditors, to the extent necessary in order for the Ministry of Social Development to make decisions about your application, and to audit and review any subsidy that is granted (to you or another applicant) and how any subsidy granted is paid to employees.

Discuss your application with your employees and gain their consent to information sharing

  • You have discussed this application with the employees named in it.
  • You will inform the employees named in your application of the outcome of your application and the conditions that apply to your receipt of the subsidy.
  • The employees named in your application have consented (in writing, if practicable) to the following matters:
    • The employees consent to:
      • the information about them [10] in your application being provided to the Ministry of Social Development; and
      • you providing the Ministry of Social Development with any further information about them required in order for the Ministry of Social Development to make decisions about your application, and to audit and review any subsidy that is granted (to you or to another applicant) and how any subsidy granted is paid to employees; and
  • you advising the Ministry of Social Development if they end their employment relationship with your business at a time when you are receiving a subsidy with respect to them.
  • The employees consent to the information about them provided to the Ministry of Social Development with respect to this application (both at the time of application, and any information provided at a later time):
    • being used by the Ministry of Social Development to make decisions about your application, and to audit and review any subsidy that is granted (to you or to another applicant) and how any subsidy granted is paid to employees; and
    • being shared by the Ministry of Social Development with other agencies (including non-government agencies) to the extent necessary in order for the Ministry of Social Development and its auditors to make decisions about your application, and to audit and review any subsidy that is granted (to you or to another applicant) and how any subsidy granted is paid to employees.
  • The employees consent to other agencies (including non-government agencies) providing information about them to the Ministry of Social Development and its auditors, to the extent necessary in order for the Ministry of Social Development to make decisions about your application, and to audit and review any subsidy that is granted (to you or to another applicant) and how any subsidy granted is paid to employees.
  • If you are a sole trader or self-employed person that does not employ employees, then by submitting this form you are declaring that you consent to the matters set out in this section.

Advise your employees they can request access to information you have provided in your application under the Privacy Act 2020

You will advise the employees named in your application that they have the right to request access to all information held about them under the Privacy Act 2020, and can visit https://msd.govt.nz/form/msd/govt/nz/form.req2?requestType=wage-subsidy-payment-employee-information-request to make a request.

Publication of information about you

You consent to the Ministry of Social Development publishing information about your business and the level of any subsidy provided to you (excluding any personal information about the employees named in your application) on a publicly accessible register.

Notify changes in eligibility

You will notify the Ministry of Social Development within 5 working days if anything changes that may affect your eligibility or entitlement to the subsidy.

Repaying the subsidy

You agree to repay the subsidy or any part of the subsidy paid to you if you:

  • fail to meet any of the obligations about how you must use the subsidy; or
  • were not eligible for the subsidy; or
  • provide false or misleading information in your application.

Provision of true and correct information

You acknowledge and agree that all of the information you have provided to the Ministry of Social Development is true and correct.

Consequences of non-compliance with the obligations in this declaration

You acknowledge that you may be subject to civil proceedings for the recovery of any amount you receive that you are not entitled to and/or to prosecution for offences under the Crimes Act 1961 if you:

  • have provided false or misleading information; or
  • fail to meet any of the obligations about how you must use the subsidy; or
  • receive any subsidy or part of a subsidy that you were not entitled to receive.

Authority to make this declaration

You are making this declaration on behalf of your business and you have the authority to do so.

The Ministry may amend this declaration

You acknowledge that the Ministry of Social Development may amend this declaration at any time and at its discretion.

Declaration forms part of your application

You acknowledge that this declaration forms part of your application.

In submitting your application you also acknowledge and/or agree:

  • The Ministry of Social Development collects the information in this application to determine whether you are eligible to receive assistance.
  • The Ministry of Social Development will use the information provided in this application (both at the time of application, and information provided at a later time) for the purposes addressed in this document, including to assess your eligibility to receive the subsidy and to audit and review any subsidies granted. We may also use the information to contact you or for research and reporting purposes, or to advise you on the matters relating to the assistance you applied for.
  • The Ministry of Social Development will not use the information provided in this application for any other purpose unless required or authorised by law.
  • Under the Privacy Act 2020 you have the right to request access to all information held about yourself and to request corrections to that information.

[1] That may or may not employ other employees.

[2] Incorporated under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 and registered under the Charities Act 2005; or registered under the Charities Act 2005.

[3] Incorporated under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.

[4] For the purposes of this declaration, except as otherwise specified, advice means advice from a medical practitioner (as defined in the Social Security Act 2018,) a Medical Officer of Health (as defined in the Health Act 1956), or any other health official in accordance with public health guidelines (for example, a contact tracing centre) ; or a requirement by a Medical Officer of Health in accordance with the Health Act 1956 or an Order under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020.

[5] "Relevant COVID-19 test result" means the COVID-19 test result of the employee or their dependant, or, where the employee is a household member or secondary contact of a close contact (as described in public health guidelines), the close contact.

[6] Employee includes you if you are a sole trader or self-employed person that does not employ employees, unless the context requires otherwise.

[7] It is unlawful for you to unilaterally vary an employment agreement to reduce an employee's wages or salary in order to receive the subsidy, without the agreement from the employee. You must continue to comply with your existing obligations as an employer including under the Employment Relations Act 2000.

[8] Other than as you are lawfully permitted to do, including as provided for in an employee's employment agreement.

[9] The Ministry of Social Development includes the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development and their staff.

[10] For clarity, information about employees in these bullet points does not include identifiable information about other people (e.g. members of employees' household). The Ministry will collect, use or share information about other people only if required or authorised by law.