COVID-19 Assistance - update on wage subsidies

These are very interesting times. You may have noticed we just sent you an update on COVID-19 assistance, and it is already out of date.
The Government has advised today the below change to the wages subsidy scheme:
Businesses accessing the scheme must still undertake best endeavours to pay employees 80% of their pre-COVID income. Where that is not possible – in particular where a business has no activity whatsoever due to the shutdown and workers are not working any hours – they must pass on at least the whole value of the wage subsidy to each affected worker.

  • Businesses must undertake to keep employees in employment for the period of the subsidy.
  • We are folding the previous sick leave scheme into this scheme to prevent double-dipping. The original sick leave scheme was designed when few people were in self-isolation, and it is no longer fit for purpose. We are working on arrangements for those in essential work who require sick leave due to COVID-19.

As it has just been announced, the particulars of any qualifying reporting, how it is to be communicated to employees and rolled out through payroll are unclear. We will provide further updates as they become more widely known.

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