Weekly Digest – 14 July 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

NZ Resumes Travel Bubble with QLD

NZ has resumed its quarantine-free travel arrangement with QLD from 11:59 pm on Monday. QLD health authorities announced reduced restrictions on social gatherings and mask wearing starting this Friday, prompting the NZ government to bring back the travel bubble.

Kiwis Stranded in NSW Started to Come Home

Managed return flights will start bringing New Zealanders stranded in New South Wales back home on Tuesday. There are as many as 2,500 Kiwis in NSW, but there are only about 1,000 rooms available in the MIQ facilities over the next two weeks. Returning travellers will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon return.

J&J COVID-19 Vaccine Approved for Use in NZ

Medical regulators have approved the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. New Zealand has an agreement to purchase 2 million doses, but Pfizer will remain the country’s primary vaccine.

First Rail Network Investment Programme Released

New Zealand’s transport minister Mr Michael Wood has released the first Rail Network Investment Programme (RNIP), which outlines a $1.3 billion plan for the management, maintenance, and improvement of the national rail network between 2021 and 2024.

Deadline Looms for Businesses to Become Accredited Migrant Employers

The government is phasing out its six migrant visa categories and combining them into a single scheme which puts more responsibility on the employer.

The Accredited Employer Work Visa will be introduced on 1 November. Those who want to hire migrants must first become accredited by demonstrating they were a good employer and their business was financially sound.

Training Incentive Allowance to Support 16,000 Kiwis

The government is bringing back the Training Incentive Allowance to support 16,000 New Zealanders to retrain and gain higher skills. An investment of $127 million will be given over four years from the COVID-19 Recovery and Response Fund to reinstate this program.

Short-term Absence Payment

This is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay employees who cannot work from home while they wait at home for a COVID-19 test result. This is a one-off payment of $350. You can find the details here.

Leave Support Scheme

The Leave Support Scheme is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay their workers who can’t work from home and meet certain health criteria, eg they have COVID-19 or are a ‘close contact’ who has been told to self-isolate for 14 days.

The Leave Support Scheme is paid as a 2-week lump sum per eligible employee.

The Leave Support Scheme is paid at a flat rate of:

  • $585.80 a week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week
  • $350 a week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week.

Find out more about the Leave Support Scheme here.

Small Business Cashflow Scheme Extended Until 2023

The Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme has been extended until 31 December 2023.

Organisations and small to medium businesses, including sole traders and the self-employed, may be eligible for a one-off loan with a term of 5 years if they have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

The maximum amount loaned is $10,000 plus $1,800 per full-time-equivalent employee. The annual interest rate will be 3% beginning from the date of the loan being provided. Interest will not be charged if the loan is fully paid back within 2 years.

You can find out more here, or simply get in touch with us so we can provide our professional assistance.

Kiwi Business Boost Tool

The Government has funded specialist consultancy support services to provide advice to businesses who need it. You can use the Kiwi Business Boost Tool to find out what services are available in your region.

The Treasury website’s COVID-19 Economic Response Measures can also provide more information on the range of supports available to businesses.

Eight Tips to Calmly Handle Company Crises

Running a business has its own ups and downs. Sometimes, ideas fail and things go out of hand, leading to a crisis within the business. In this Forbes article, members of the Young Entrepreneur Council share eight tips to manage company crises calmly and competently.

  • Take a moment to sit and think, without distractions. It’s through clarity that you can make the best decisions and take the right actions.
  • Ask senior leaders to help address the crisis. Catch up with leaders, explain the current situation, and ask them to help you address the crisis.
  • Respond in a calculated manner instead of reacting. Responding requires you to take a moment, gather all relevant information, and make a plan to move forward.
  • Encourage employees to stick to their daily routines. This keeps a sense of normalcy and prevents placing unnecessary stress on employees.
  • Take ownership of successes and failures. Resist the urge to shift blame as this will only cause more problems and worsen the crisis.
  • Remember your company’s purpose and vision. Re-centre everything to your true north in order to stay calm and manage the crisis.
  • Quantify the issue to put it into perspective. Being able to quantify the issue as a one-dollar problem or a thousand-dollar problem, for instance, can help you approach the crisis from a composed viewpoint.
  • Create a plan of action with detailed steps. Proactively define priorities and then communicate the three or five most important steps. Having a plan will not only help address financial concerns and preserve operational continuity, but will also make your team feel secure.

Need more focused business advice? Get in touch with us today and let us talk about your specific situation and how we can help you.

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