COVID-19 Resurgence Wage Subsidy (RWS)

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The COVID-19 Resurgence Wage Subsidy (RWS) is a new Wage Subsidy category for businesses who are financially impacted by the resurgence of COVID-19 and changes to COVID Alert Levels.

Applications for the RWS are open from 1pm on 21 August until 3 September 2020.

The RWS is available nationally and covers 2 weeks of an employee’s wages. This will be at a flat rate of $585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week (full-time rate) and $350.00 for people working less than 20 hours per week (part-time rate).


The RWS has the same employer eligibility as original Wage Subsidy (covering contractors, and self-employed workers). It does not cover most state sector organisations.

To receive the RWS, you must have experienced a revenue drop of at least 40% for a 14-day period, between 12 August to 10 September 2020, compared to a similar period in the past year.

You must have taken active steps to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19. This could include:

  • drawing from your cash reserves (as appropriate);
  • activating your business continuity plan;
  • making an insurance claim;
  • proactively engaging with your bank; and
  • seeking advice and support from the Chamber of Commerce, a relevant industry association or the Regional Business Partner programme).

Requirements whilst in receipt of the RWS

You must retain employees that you are applying for during the Resurgence Wage Subsidy period.

If you receive the RWS, you must:

  • “try your hardest” to pay staff at least 80% of their usual wages; or
  • if that isn't possible, pay at least the rate of the Resurgence Wage Subsidy; or
  • if the employee's usual wages are lower than the rate of the Resurgence Wage Subsidy, continue paying that amount for the duration of the subsidy.

You cannot receive more than one COVID-19 payment (i.e. the original Wage Subsidy and Extension or Leave Support Scheme) for the same employee at the same time.

For more information, or for specialist advice on any COVID-19 employment issues, please contact a member of our employment team.


Disclaimer: the content of this article is general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose.



Area of expertise

Share this publication