Question :
Can we use the wage subsidy to pay Kiwisaver contributions for our staff?

Question submitted 13/06/20 @ 04:32pm
Industry: Funding & Finance
  • Hi there – the wage subsidy is a ‘payment’ to the Employer to keep your employees connected to the business. It is ‘not a payment that you pass onto your staff’. What the the provisions request is that Employers use the subsidy to keep your employees employed and they talk about asking employers to pay no less than 80% of their normal salary, however we know that some employers have paid just the subsidy to their employees as they wait for the economy to open up again.

    So to summarise – the Government hopes you as an employer pay as much to your employees, and they gave a target of 80% of normal pay. If you can’t do this, then the absolute minimum is the actual subsidy, below which you are not permitted to go below.

    I believe you could not ‘pay’ the minimum and then take out the employer contributions for KiwiSaver out of this – that is something you have to pay as a business on top.

    The wage subsidy should be used to fund payments made to your employees. Normal withholdings can be made such as the employee contribution to KiwiSaver and PAYE. Unfortunately, employer contributions can not be taken out of the wage subsidy amounts received and must be funded by the employer. This should be taken into account when best endeavours are used to pay staff the 80% wages target. Happy to discuss if you have more questions.

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