3 Sep 2021

Apology for businesses hit by wage subsidy glitch

3:45 pm on 3 September 2021

The government has apologised to businesses who could not apply for the wage subsidy last night because the website was down and have urged affected people to get in touch.

No caption

Photo: 123RF

Ministry of Social Development acting group general manager of Client Service Support, Jason Dwen, said the website was down between 8pm and 10pm while staff were setting up the site to take applications for the new round, which opened at 9am today.

"This issue was the result of human error, and we are sorry about this," he said.

"In fairness to those who tried to apply over this time, we made the decision to extend the application period from the original close off time of 11.59pm, out to 7am on Friday 3 September."

Dwen said people who missed out could lay a complaint through a form available on the Work and Income website and staff would be in contact as soon as possible to discuss what happened.

He said wage subsidy applications for round two had been working smoothly today and MSD was not aware of any website outages.

Businesses have taken to MSD's social media pages to express frustration at not being able to apply this morning, with MSD responding to them that the website was experiencing high traffic volumes and they should keep trying.

The amount of wage support dished out by the government over the past two weeks has surpassed $1 billion.

This includes $998 million in wage subsidy payments and almost $1.9 million for Leave Support and Short Term Absence payments.

$454 million has also been approved through the Inland Revenue-managed Resurgence Support Payment.

From Thursday businesses that have been operating for one month or more can apply for the Resurgence Payment, an amendment on the previous criteria, which required six months of operation.

The rest of the criteria, including a 30 percent drop in revenue, remains.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs