Question :
I have a staff member stuck in Brazil with only a work permit so NZ won’t let her back. We are a cafe so closed anyway for now. Can we apply for and pay her the employee subsidy?

Question submitted 29/03/20 @ 11:22am
Industry: Food & Beverage
  • I would expect so, and good on you for thinking about her. There’s only one way to find out for sure, and that’s by applying. Cheers

    Hi Aaron, check that question out with WINZ by emailing them. Explain the situation as you did here. Yes, I wonder if permitted, you could send her earnings over there or just out the money into her bank account over here. Much respect to you for looking after your staff.

    Hi Aaron – I would think that the determination of eligibility would be your intention to keep her/him employed for the min. 12 weeks – but also the likelihood that she can be back in NZ to work post this period. It is an interesting question and if she has full intention of coming back, then it is probably worth applying.

    Hi Aaron

    As a Licensed Immigration Adviser, I have asked this question of our local MSD staff and the short answer is that they are still seeking guidance on the subject.

    In the interim, I would encourage you to apply for the staff member if, like others have stated, you intend to continue their employment (but for the border being closed).

    Though it does not currently look promising for temporary visa holders stuck offshore, as a business owner you are unable to predict when your employee will be allowed re-entry and while they are employed and you are experiencing that loss, they qualify for it based on current policy (or at least my interpretation of it).

    As previously advised, I would also encourage you to disclose your specific circumstances to your local MSD team and the fact that you have applied for the subsidy.

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