COVID-19 Industry Information

Updated 1 April, 2020

We are committed to supporting you, however given the high volume of calls due to this unprecedented situation, we ask that where possible, please email us at info@hospitality.org.nz and our team will be in touch.

This page and our TOOLKIT will be consistently updated with any new relevant information.


Industry Toolkit  Q&A Resource  Business Closure  |  Wage Subsidies  |  Redeployment Directory 

Advocacy  |  Minimum Wage Increase  |  Daylight Savings  Immigration  NZTN  |  Industry News


 
Hospitality NZ COVID-19 Toolkit
 
Hospitality New Zealand have created a comprehensive, toolkit to help assist and inform our members around the implications of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on their businesses and employees.
 
The toolkit covers industry advice - prevention, food businesses, accommodation, employment, health and safety, business support, mental health, business planning & marketing. 
 
This toolkit is to be used as a guide and the information included is subject to change - as new information given on a day by day basis. We advise members to ensure they check for updates to the toolkit regularly and do not rely on older versions for guidance.
 
[Current Version and Date] Version 7.0, updated on April 1 2020.
Click here to download our COVID-19 Toolkit
You will need to be logged in to access to this resource, If you have any issues please call us on 0800 500 503 and our team will be able to assist you.
 
All of our Hospitality NZ COVID-19 Resources can be found here.
 

COVID-19 Questions and Answers Resource

We appreciate that many operators will have significant questions during this unprecedented situation and our team has been hard at work answering those we are able and seeking clarifications from government on those we are not. 

Our team has collated most of the various questions we have received into a handy Q&A resource, available to members below.

Legal obligations around COVID-19 are unclear in many cases. The questions and answers in this resource represent our best endeavours in these circumstances to help provide members guidance.

We have submitted further questions to MSD and are awaiting a response (the questions we are awaiting answers to are particularly relevant to employment law obligations). As information changes and new information emerges, we will update members.

View our COVID-19 Questions and Answers Resource here.


Non-essential Temporary Business Closures

(Updated 26 March 2020)

The COVID-19 Alert Level is now at Level 4.

Only businesses that are essential may remain open during the Level 4 Alert period. If a business isn’t sure if it provides services or products which qualify as essential, it should close.

The full list of 'essential services' can be found here.

Accommodation services have been classified as an 'essential service' and may remain open under the following determination: Any entity that provides accommodation services for essential workers, isolation/quarantine, and emergency housing.

Those Accommodation services which choose to continue to operate during Level 4 must follow strict guidelines to ensure the safety of their employees and guests alike. 

The Guidelines for Accommodation Business during Level 4 can be found here.

Food delivery is prohibited, except meals-on-wheels and whole food delivery (eg subscription food boxes).

Liquor stores must close, unless they are within Licensing Trust areas (in which case they can operate with a one-in-one-out rule).

To assist members with temporary closing down their businesses, Hospitality NZ has put together Temporary Business Closure Resource which is available to download here.

These measures are to remain in place for 4 weeks before being reassessed.

In addition, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced that the $150,000 cap on the Wage Subsidy Scheme has been removed to allow all employers to access cover for their employees. Robertson also announced a rent increase freeze with further information to come. Read more.

At this time, many of you will be uncertain what this change means for you, your staff and your business - our team at Hospitality NZ will be available to assist while we ourselves adapt to these changes via 0800 500 503.


Applying for Wage Subsidies:

Overview: Wage subsidies is available for all employers that are significantly impacted by COVID-19 and are struggling to retain employees as a result. The scheme is open to sole traders and the self-employed as well as firms.

Amount of support: $585.80 per week for a full time employee (20 hrs or more) or $350.00 per week for a part time employee (less than 20 hrs). The payment will be made as a lump sum for a period covering 12 weeks. This means employers will receive a payment of $7,029.60 for a full time employee and $4,200 for a part time employee. 

Scale of disruption: Employers must have suffered, or are projected to suffer at least a 30% decline in revenue compared to last year for any month between January 2020 and the end of the scheme in June 2020. Applications can also be made on the basis of forecast revenue loss within the period of the scheme.

Undertakings from the Employer: Some of the key undertakings are:

1) Employers will need to declare that, on their best endeavours, they will continue to employ the affected employees at a minimum of 80% of their income for the duration of the subsidy period. This is the equivalent of keeping people working 4 out of 5 days of the week.

2) Employers must also have taken active steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 (eg. engaged with their bank/financial advisor) and sign a declaration form to that effect.

Employers can apply to MSD for the subsidy: Employers can apply from today. Applications can be made through an online portal on the Work and Income website www.workandincome.govt.nz. MSD will aim to make first payments no later than five working days from when applications are received.

Duration of the scheme: Applications can be made from 17 March for the next 12 weeks

Estimated total cost: Approximately $9.2 billion

Example: Tourism operator
A tourism operator in Queenstown, with 20 permanent part time employees and 40 casuals, is affected by the decrease in international visitors. Their income is down 50% from the same period last year, forward bookings over the next two months are down 30%, and the casual workforce has already been released.
The Employer receives $84,000 as a lump sum, and uses the subsidy to keep paying all part time staff their existing (current) income over the next 12 weeks.

More information on the wage subsidy scheme, including how to apply, and other support for businesses can be found at www.govt.nz/coronavirus, and www.business.govt.nz.

Excess Subsidy Payment Usage Clarification Provided

Work and Income has changed it's guidelines around Wage Subsidy payments in reflection of the weekends clarifications by Finance Minister, Grant Robertson. They are as follows:

If you are receiving the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy, you must try your hardest to pay the employee named in your application, at least 80% of their usual wages.

If that isn’t possible, you need to pay at least the subsidy rate (ie, full-time or part-time).

If your employee's usual wages are less than the subsidy, you must pay them their usual wages.

Any difference should be used for the wages of other affected staff - the wage subsidy is designed to keep your employees connected to you.

This amendment now clarifies that the excess amount of a wage subsidy where the employee's 'usual hours' are below the subsidy amount, may be used to 'top up' those employees where the subsidy does not meet the 80% requirement of their 'usual hours'.

Please note that where the subsidy ALONE provides for 100% of an employees 'usual hours' they must be paid 100%. The 80% rule only applies to those cases where employers need to 'top up' wages beyond the subsidy amount to meet 'usual hours'.


COVID-19 Redeployment Directory

In consideration of the current Alert Level 4 shutdown of non-essential business, there is notable concern for the 400,00+ Kiwis currently reliant on our businesses for work - meanwhile, there are businesses considered 'essential services' which are in dire need of additional staff.

To assist in helping look after our fellow Kiwis, we have created a directory outlining those businesses who are currently in need of additional staff. This presents possible options for hospitality and tourism operators to assist in redeploying their staff while there is uncertainty around their own ability to provide work for them.

If you currently have opportunities which may assist in deploying affected hospitality and tourism workers, please email us with details at info@hospitality.org.nz.

Visit our COVID-19 Redeployment Directory


Hospitality NZ Advocacy: COVID-19

We have set up a new section under the Advocacy area of our website, where we will collate and update the various advocacy work we are focusing on.

Please note that the COVID-19 situation is fast moving and ever changing. There are numerous pieces of advocacy work being undertaken, on the behalf of our members, at all times. We will endeavor to keep this page up to date however the latest information will always be provided via our regular email communications.

View 'COVID-19 Advocacy Page'


Minimum Wage Increase - 1 April 2020

Despite repeated calls to delay the increase schedule for 1 April 2020, the government appears determined to push that increase through as scheduled. Businesses need to prepare for the minimum wage to increase.

On 1 April 2020 the adult minimum wage will increase $1.20 from $17.70 to $18.90 per hour.

The new rate equates to an extra $48 per week before tax for employees on a 40-hour working week.

The starting-out and training minimum wage rates will increase 96 cents from $14.16 to $15.12, and will remain at 80% of the adult rate.

What does this mean for my business during the Covid-19 Level 4 Alert period?

This means that any pay calculations after 1 April 2020 will need to factor in the increase for those on minimum wage.

For example: The Covid-19 wage subsidy package requires you to make best endeavours to pay employees at least 80% of their normal wages. After 1 April, this will mean 80% calculated at $18.90 per hour, instead of at $17.70 per hour, for any employees on minimum wage.


Daylight Savings - Sunday 5 April 2020

Daylight saving ends at 3am on Sunday 5 April 2020. This means that clocks go back one hour from 3.00am to 2.00am.

For businesses that are trading, with employees who are actually working, the Time Act provides that any employees must be paid for that extra hour at whatever rate applies when they work in excess of normal hours (i.e. overtime rates for waged employees).

If employers are closed down because of COVID-19, but are paying staff a percent of what they would otherwise have earned, then the employer should consider whether the employee would otherwise have worked that extra hour.


COVID-19 Redeployment Directory

In consideration of the current Alert Level 4 shutdown of non-essential business, there is notable concern for the 400,00+ Kiwis currently reliant on our businesses for work - meanwhile, there are businesses considered 'essential services' which are in dire need of additional staff.

To assist in helping look after our fellow Kiwis, we have created a directory outlining those businesses who are currently in need of additional staff. This presents possible options for hospitality and tourism operators to assist in redeploying their staff while there is uncertainty around their own ability to provide work for them.

If you currently have opportunities which may assist in deploying affected hospitality and tourism workers, please email us with details at info@hospitality.org.nz.

Visit our COVID-19 Redeployment Directory


Immigration NZ Information 

The following is direct from Immigration NZ and more information can be found on their website here.

A worker's temporary visa expires on or before 1 April 2020

To assist in helping look after our fellow Kiwis, we have created a directory outlining those businesses who are currently in need of additional staff.
If the expiry date stated in a worker's visa is on or before 1 April 2020 they must apply for a visa online before their current visa expires.

If they cannot provide information required by the online form, such as a new medical certificate, they should upload an explanation instead to complete their application.

If a temporary worker applies for a visa online it is accepted automatically. This means after you apply, they will be granted an interim visa automatically when their current visa expires. An interim visa will allow them to remain lawfully in New Zealand for six months.

Apply for a variation on conditions or new visa

A worker's temporary visa expires between 2 April and 9 July 2020

If a worker's temporary visa expires between 2 April and 9 July 2020, it will automatically be extended to late September 2020. We will advise them by email in early April.

If travel plans have changed due to the travel restrictions, visa holders can request a change to their travel dates and visa conditions or apply for a new visa. Visa fees or levies paid for completed applications will not be refunded or deferred for another visa.

We are aware that some individuals may wish to apply for a change of visa conditions. We are currently working through the options for this and will contact them soon with more information.

Immigration information on COVID-19 restrictions can be found here.


Non-compliance with Self-Isolation

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has agreed with the Police’s new processes for following up reports of persons who are required to self-isolate, but are not doing so.

Current advice on dealing with guests or members of the public who are not following self-isolating procedures is to contact Crimestoppers (not MoH) Ph 0800 555 111.

You can now also report to Police online here:
- Suspected COVID-19 L4 isolation breaches
- Businesses you suspect are breaching the essential services rule.

Before making your report, please refer to information from the Ministry of Health about self-isolation the Government guidelines about Essential businesses.

To complete this report you will need to provide your name and email address so NZ Police can contact you if required.


 
NZ Tourism Network (Industry Forums)
 
Inside Tourism have launched the New Zealand Tourism Network. This is a FREE service to everyone in the tourism industry, whether they subscribe to Inside Tourism or not.
 
This service is a web based forum for everyone from all industry bodies, groups, companies or individuals to come together, share ideas and answer questions as one industry.
 

Additional Useful Information & News:

NEW Excess Subsidy Payment Usage - Clarification ProvidedWork and Income has changed it's guidelines around Wage Subsidy payments in reflection of the weekends clarifications by Finance Minister, Grant Robertson. READ MORE

NEW  Government reverses instructions on Wage Subsidies in latest press releaseMinister of Finance Provides Further Clarification on Modification to Wage Subsidy. READ MORE

Essential Businesses: Off-licences - Online sale and contactless deliveryMBIE updated their determinations on Essential Businesses again today to specify the situation for off-licences - online sale and contactless delivery.READ MORE

Minimum Wage Increase - 1 April 2020Despite repeated calls to delay the increase schedule for 1 April 2020, the government appears determined to push that increase through as scheduled. Businesses need to prepare for the minimum wage to increase. READ MORE

Operational Update from the Department of Internal AffairsDIA acknowledges the immediate pressures facing the gambling sector, as a result of the Government’s decision to move to a level 4 emergency response to COVID-19. READ MORE

Go with Tourism Launch New Support ServiceGo with Tourism have launched a brand new and completely FREE support service to assist you in the tourism industry. READ MORE

MORE NEWS: For more COVID-19 Industry News click here.


If you have questions or concerned not addressed on this page, or simply wish to discuss further - please contact your Regional Manager on 0800 500 503.