Earthquake Support Subsidy
Earthquake Support Subsidy provides financial support for businesses and self-employed or sole traders while you manage through the impact of the 14 November 2016 earthquakes.
The Earthquake Support Subsidy is a subsidy to help businesses and self-employed or sole traders impacted by the 14 November earthquakes. It aims to help you retain your staff and continue to pay them while you transition back to business as usual.
The subsidy was initially available for eight weeks from 14 November. This has been extended for a further eight weeks for Kaikoura and Hurunui districts and the Wellington Region.
- For businesses in the Kaikoura and Hurunui districts and Wellington region that have already been approved, we can grant an extension up to eight weeks. If you’re in the Kaikoura or Hurunui District or Wellington Region and want this extension, please re-apply as soon as possible to avoid a break in your payment using the forms on this web page and providing up- to- date information about the employees you are continuing to pay. We’ll contact you if we need any further information from you.
- The subsidy is paid to employers at a rate of $500 gross per week for full-time employees and $300 gross per week for part-time employees. (For this subsidy, part-time is considered to be less than 20 hours a week and full-time is 20 hours or more a week.)
- If you are an employer who is receiving the subsidy you need to make sure that you:
- notify your employees you have applied for this subsidy
- continue employing and paying your employees you are claiming the subsidy for at the rate that they were receiving before the earthquake where possible
- continue paying ACC levies, PAYE and holiday pay as well as other employment related expenses in respect of your employees
- keep subsidy records in case we need to refer to them
- Payment will be made by lump sum for a period of up to 8 weeks.
- Employers are expected to use up their business continuity insurance in the first instance. If there will be a delay in receiving these payments from their insurer, employers may be able to receive Earthquake Support Subsidy until they receive their insurance payments. The subsidy will need to be repaid if an insurance payment is received for the same period.
- Employees in businesses receiving the Earthquake Support Subsidy will continue to be paid by their employer at the rate they were receiving before the earthquake where possible and should contact their employer in the first instance with any questions about their wages or salary.
- Employees in businesses not eligible for the Earthquake Support Subsidy should contact Work and Income to see if they are eligible for other forms of financial assistance.
Who can get it
Employers and sole-traders who don’t have business continuity insurance can get the Earthquake Support Subsidy if they meet the following criteria.
Kaikoura, Marlborough and Hurunui areas:
- operating in Hanmer Springs and the wider Hurunui District and can show a sudden, large and sustained drop in revenue or
- operating in the area covered by Ward through to Cheviot on State Highway 1, and from Rotherham through Waiau, and Mount Lyford to Kaikoura and
- either unable to access the workplace due to damage, a cordon, or an essential service that is not available or able to operate the business but experiencing a significant loss of trade due to the earthquake.
- unable to access the workplace in Wellington due to cordons in place in Molesworth Street, Reading Complex and Queensgate Mall and
- unable to relocate the business elsewhere.
Outside these areas
If you’re an employer outside the areas above, you may be able to get the Earthquake Support Subsidy if you can provide evidence of a sudden, large and sustained drop in revenue due to earthquake-related impacts.
Who can't get it
An employer is not eligible for the Earthquake Support Subsidy if they are:
- an employer who can continue to operate and/or meet your obligations to pay your employees
- an employer who has business interruption/continuity insurance that will pay for continuation of wages for staff
- an overseas based employer
- a branch of a larger organisation that also operates outside the area
- a government agency or government-related organisation.
How to apply
You can apply online or call us.
You’ll need the following information to complete the online form:
- your business IR number
- your business bank account number
- details of the staff you want the subsidy for (employees’ names, dates of birth, IR numbers and their normal hours of work).
It’s OK if you don’t have the IR numbers for your employees when you apply, but it may be quicker for us to complete your application if you do.
Use this application if you pay people to work for you.
Use this application if you don’t pay anyone else to work for you.
Call our Government Helpline on 0800 779 997 and we’ll talk with you about your situation.