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New Zealand only - in Australia see Working out turnover for a COVID-19 grant - MYOB Essentials.

The New Zealand Government has some business support payments to help pay staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For details of available payments and eligibility criteria, visit

If your business is eligible for any wage subsidy payments, we recommend setting up a COVID-19 pay item to make those payments to the affected employees.


1. Create a COVID-19 pay item

To create a COIVD-19 pay item

  1. Go to the Payroll menu and choose Pay items. The Pay items page appears.
  2. Click Create earning. The Create new earning window appears.

  3. For the earning Type, choose Standard earning.

  4. For the Name, enter "COVID-19".

  5. If you'd like a different, more personalised, name to show on payslips for this earning, enter a Name for payslip, such as "Self Isolation".

  6. For the Rate, choose Per hour and leave the Amount as 0.00. If the subsidy is a fixed amount, choose Fixed amount and enter the applicable Amount.

  7. Choose Taxable for the Tax.

    Here's our example:

  8. Click Save.

  9. When you're done, you can assign pay items to your employees.
2. Assign the COVID-19 pay item to an employee
  1. From the Payroll menu, choose Employees.
  2. Click the employee's name.
  3. Click the Pay items - earnings & deductions tab. The top section of the page is for Earnings.
  4. Click the dropdown arrow next to the Add earning... field.
  5. Choose the COVID-19 pay item. The pay item is assigned to the employee.

  6. Click Save.

  7. Repeat from step 2 to assign the pay item to another employee.
3. Pay the COVID-19 subsidy

When you record an employee's pay, you can enter the subsidy amount against the COVID-19 pay item.

Here's how:

  1. From the Payroll menu, choose Enter pay.
  2. Choose the pay dates, select the employees you're paying, then click Start pay run.
  3. For each employee:
  4. If the subsidy is per hour:
    1. Enter the employee's normal hourly rate against the Rate $ for the COVID-19 pay item.
    2. Work out the Quantity (hours) to enter against the COVID-19 pay item. This will be specific to the payment you're receiving. For example, you might need to divide the employee's subsidy payment amount by their normal hourly rate.
      So, for example, if the subsidy is $585.80 and the employee's regular pay rate is $35, you'd divide 585.80 by 35 to determine a Quantity of 16.7371
  5. If applicable, enter any additional hours against the applicable pay or leave item. This will be specific to the payment you're receiving for the employee.
  6. Repeat for each employee and finalise the pays as normal.

When you're no longer paying an employee the subsidy, you can unlink the COVID-19 pay item from them. This will stop it showing on the employee's pay. Learn how to unlink a pay item from an employee.

Recording the government subsidy payments

To record the subsidy payments you receive from the government, set up a new account to track those payments. If you use bank feeds on the account the payments are deposited into, you'll be able to allocate those amounts directly to the new account. Otherwise you'll need to record a receive money transaction to allocate those payments to the new account.

Talk to your accounting advisor about the best way to handle these payments for your business and any GST or other reporting implications.