Jacinda Ardern: Everyone on lockdown is eligible for wage subsidy

By Bronson Perich
The prime minister confirmed this afternoon that the government will subsidise the wages of anyone in lockdown.

“Everyone that is shutdown is eligible for this scheme,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

The government will pay up to $585 per full-time worker and $385 for every part-time worker in lockdown. Employers that can, should pay 80% of the wage and use the subsidy as a top-up.

Employers that cannot pay the 80% are expected to forward the entire subsidy to their workers.

So far the government has paid $2.7 billion worth of subsidies to more than 428,000 workers.

Over 58,000 of these workers are self-employed.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said that businesses are encouraged to take up the scheme to keep their workers employed. 

He reiterated that the situation had changed from when the government introduced the wage subsidy for COVID-19 patients. 

That is why, he says, the subsidy is now available for all who cannot work.