01/05/2020

COVID-19 updates this week

With the country now at Level 3, many more businesses can now operate which is great news.

Worksafe has published guidelines for operating safely at Level 3 and there’s a good page about workplace operations at all levels on the business.govt.nz website.

Business tax support

The government announced a further set of tax proposals to help businesses manage the impacts of COVID-19. These include:

  • Greater flexibility for taxpayers in respect to tax deadlines
  • Changes to the tax loss continuity rules
  • A tax loss carry-back scheme.

To find out how it might apply to your business, check out the guidance on the Inland Revenue website but talk to us if you have any questions.

COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme

From 28th April, government support is available for employers who meet the eligibility criteria to pay employees in situations where employees need to stay away from work and cannot work from home. Employers can make the application for support to pay employees. The self-employed or contractors can apply directly.

Read more about the Leave Support Scheme on the Employment New Zealand website.

Be aware of issues around modifying employee agreements during COVID-19

The extraordinary circumstances of the last few weeks have meant dramatic changes to how we work. Be aware that employment legislation still requires employers to follow certain processes and act in “good faith”.

This article on the Employment New Zealand website will give you some pointers on how to stay compliant.

Are you a commercial property owner?

The government is working to put in place some temporary law changes to support commercial tenants and landlords impacted by COVID-19. These changes aim to make it easier to retain lease arrangements and get back to business as usual. More information and guidance can be found from the Ministry of Justice website

Time for some good news

We let you know about the website SOS Café a few weeks ago. The website allows you to prepay for food or drinks from local hospitality businesses and then redeem then as the lockdown eases. It was set up and paid for by a bunch of volunteers and now has raised over $1 million for Kiwi businesses. Read more on their blog and if you’d like to help a local cafe or bar, it’s really easy. There are now 2300 listed on the website.

We also liked this article which lists some great NZ businesses showing resilience in these times.

Here to help

What an April! Let’s hope the swift action by the government and sacrifices we’ve all made this month will pay us back with a fast recovery in May.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are all in this together!

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