Who can get the COVID-19 wage subsidy?

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy

If you're a contractor, sole trader or self-employed, you may qualify to get the COVID-19 wage subsidy.

To qualify:

  • your business is registered and operating in New Zealand
  • you are legally working in New Zealand
  • the business has experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue over the period of a month, when compared with the same month last year, and that decline is related to COVID-19
  • your business has taken active steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19
  • if you have employees, you must retain the employees named in your application for the period of the subsidy.

If you don't have people working for you

When you apply you will need:

  • IRD number
  • business name
  • business address.

Sole traders and self-employed

Sole traders and self-employed are not required to be registered with the New Zealand Companies Office, but must have:

  • a personal IRD number for paying income tax and GST, and
  • government licences and permits for their business needs, and
  • qualifications or registrations for their trade or profession.

Not all sole traders and self-employed will have a government licence or permit or be qualified or registered in a trade or profession.
If you are a Bare Bones Accounting client, we may be able to provide the supporting evidence required to meet those criteria.

What you can get

The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy will be paid at a flat rate of:

  • $585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week (full-time rate)
  • $350.00 for people working less than 20 hours per week (part-time rate).

The subsidy is paid as a lump sum and covers 12 weeks per person.

It takes five minutes to apply online. Read the declaration beforehand.


Sole traders and self-employed can apply here:


If you're not sure and need help, call Mike on 021 683 783.