In most cases you cannot require an employee to take annual leave. The Holidays Act requires you and your employee(s) to come to an agreement on when annual leave should be taken – but if agreement can’t be reached, then you can give your employee no less than 14 days’ notice before you require them to take annual leave. Annual leave must be paid at the employee’s contracted rate of pay.
Leave without pay can only be done by agreement with your employee.
Even in this difficult time, f you need to remove roles from your business, you need to undertake a restructuring process and consult in good faith with your affected employees on that proposal. https://www.employment.govt.nz/workplace-policies/workplace-change/overview-of-workplace-change/
The government subsidy is being offered on the basis that you meet a range of criteria, including that you must retain the employees named in your application for the period of the subsidy.