Since the wage subsidy became available in early April, vast numbers of employers have taken up the scheme to help retain staff when revenue has significantly declined due to coronavirus.

There are requirements which employers must comply with in order to receive the subsidy, including using their best endeavours to pay staff at least 80% of their normal pay during the 12 weeks of the subsidy. A full list of the requirements can be accessed on Employment New Zealand’s website.

Any employer that is granted the subsidy is placed on a public register. Employers are searchable by name, and if they have been granted the subsidy, the register will show the amount paid out and how many employees this is in relation to. The register may be accessed on the Ministry of Social Development’s website.

Making public information on employers receiving the subsidy allows employees to determine if a subsidy has been claimed on their behalf.

If, for example, an employer had claimed the subsidy and subsequently made some of their workforce redundant, they would not be entitled to the compensation for the redundant workers.

Employees can check the register to determine how many employees had been claimed for, and if fraud is suspected, notify the Ministry through their website.

It is important, during these uncertain times, to ensure that employment law is being observed and neither employer nor employee is unfairly taking advantage of the system.

If you are concerned about any of the actions or employment practices of your employer during the lockdown, it is wise to consult an experienced professional in the area.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer


Employment New Zealand website

MSD Subsidy Register

MSD Complaints