Hospitality Accountants: Essential Skills Visa Extension and Flexi-wage Subsidy – where does your business sit?

It might have been a tough year for your friendly next-door burger joint.

Behind the entertainment and good service provided, the hospitality industry has been silently carrying the brunt of the labour shortage situation, made even worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry in general has been struggling to find skilled staff for the past few years and the closing of borders certainly has not helped.

Finally, we see a couple of silver linings:

-         The Government extension of ‘Essential Skills’ visas

-         The Government introduction of the ‘Flexi-wage subsidy’

 

Essential Skills Visas

Many industries have been reliant on migrant workers to fill a critical gap for years, and this Essential Skills visa extension will help businesses continue to run smoothly without the hassles of having to change staff. This move is particularly welcome now that we (and the world) wait for our borders to reopen.

Straight from the horse’s mouth, Hospitality New Zealand have noted that businesses would still need their essential workers to stay even after our borders open. There’s no doubt businesses are committed to doing their part in employing more Kiwis, but the truth of the matter is, the transition to reduce our reliance on skilled migrants will take time. It’s likely the New Zealand Hospitality Industry would need years to train Kiwis on roles such as chefs and line cooks and as we do that, nobody can deny we would still need migrant workers to lend a skilled helping hand. Extending work holiday visas by six months is good, but it is not expected to address the skilled worker shortage crisis in the long run.

 

Flexi-wage Subsidy

However, the Government is offering another solution. The Flexi-wage subsidy is available to employers who want to hire staff and get them the skills they need to do the job.

As an employer, you can get flexi-wage for someone who hasn’t worked for a long time or is having difficulty getting or keeping a job. The Government will help you find suitable staff and if both your business and the person meet the criteria, you’ll receive wage contribution, training and other necessary ongoing support.

The position must be a mainstay even after the subsidy is no longer available and the pay must at least be minimum wage for the job. You also need to make sure you haven’t dismissed anyone to make the position available. For all the information on the whether your business may be eligible for the Flexi-wage Subsidy click here

The hospitality industry has had it pretty rough during theCOVID-19 pandemic and they need all the help they can get (especially now we’re coming fresh out of another lockdown). The difficulty in finding skilled staff, and keeping them, is hampering the industry’s recovery from COVID-19. So, the age-old question - what’s the solution that would be best for your hospitality business?

Care for a chat? We would love to talk to you about it! Give us a ring or flick us a message and we’ll get back to you quick smart!

Your Outside Team

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