Reply To: I have received the wage subsidy for my staff who are being paid 80% of their average hours. I am registered as an essential business. I understand that if they work they will be paid there normal rates instead of just 80%. However my staff are all casual and if I offer work and they choose to work less hours (or none at all) then do I still need to pay them the amount of the Covid wage subsidy?


Hi there – this is a tricky one, so bear with me as I attempt an answer – we need to separate the payment of the wage subsidy from the payment to your staff for working – the intent of the wage subsidy is to enable employers to keep employing their staff through the uncertain times to the end of June 2020.

So if your staff are not working, and not getting paid for that work (casual work) then you cannot claim the wage subsidy for them, and you will need to go back to MSD and refund those portions of subsidy you have received for your casual staff.

So short answer – if they decline the work, or they end up working ‘less’ than the prescribed time for part-time workers, then you will need to complete a refund to MSD.

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