Flexi-Wage Self-Employment

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1 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment (Previously known as Enterprise Allowance) Flexi-Wage Self-Employment Overview Provides an overview of Flexi-Wage Self-Employment. Flexi-Wage Self-Employment Eligibility Outlines the specific eligibly criteria for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up. Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Businesses Provides information relating to businesses that may and may not be appropriate for Flexi- Wage Self-Employment Subsidy and Self-Employment Start-up. Flexi-Wage Self-Employment Payments Details payments available in relation to Flexi-Wage Self-Employment. Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Subsidy claims Outlines how Flexi-Wage Self-Employment wage subsidies and Self-Employment Start-up payments are claimed and how to manage payments in specific circumstances. Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Process overview Explains the process(es) for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up. Information not available - procedural Flexi-Wage Self-Employment Review process for clients Gives information on the review process for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment decisions. Flexi-Wage Self-Employment Monitoring Describes the monitoring requirements for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidies. Information not available - procedural

2 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment Overview This page provides an overview of Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy. Note Flexi-Wage Self-Employment can only be paid as a wage subsidy and can no longer be capitalised to assist with business start-up costs. A separate payment, Self-Employment Start-up, is now available to assist with these costs. What is Flexi-Wage Self-Employment? The Flexi-Wage Self-Employment is a subsidy to help clients overcome financial barriers associated with moving into self-employment. It is expected that the client will in time be able to fully support themselves from their business. The weekly rate of subsidy is determined on the client's weekly living expenses and the expected cash flow of the business. This subsidy can be given on its own or in conjunction with the Self-Employment Start-up payment. There is no formal application form. However, clients are required to prepare a business plan and have it independently assessed. Flexi-Wage Self-Employment is provided for through the Multi-Category Appropriation (MCA). The single overarching purpose of this appropriation is to operate the benefit system and associated interventions in such a way as to improve client outcomes (employment and social) to move them closer to independence, with a focus on those at risk of long term benefit receipt. Flexi-Wage Self-Employment was previously part of assistance known as Enterprise Allowance. Outcomes The expected outcome of Flexi-Wage Self-Employment is that the client will move into selfemployment.

3 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Businesses This page describes types of businesses appropriate for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment wage subsidies and Self-Employment Start-up payments. Business requirements Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy and Self-Employment Start-up payments can only be used for businesses that are: permanent (that is, ongoing) and full-time However, if it can be seen that the client will be able to fully support themselves from their business in the near future, then a pro rata subsidy may be paid for: a client who does not have full-time work obligations who is starting a part-time self-employment opportunity between hours per week or a client with a disability who is starting a part-time self-employment opportunity between hours per week Flexi-Wage Self-Employment Pro rata and tiered subsidies Types of businesses Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up are only available for businesses based and operated within New Zealand and where the client resides full time in New Zealand. A business may be: a new business an existing business the client would like to purchase or an existing casual or part-time business currently operated by the client which is likely to enable the client to become self-sufficient if the business is expanded The business must be legal, appropriate, and acceptable to the wider community and Work and Income.

4 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment Eligibility This page outlines the eligibility criteria for the Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy. Eligibility Flexi-Wage Self-Employment is not paid under the Employment and Work Readiness Assistance (EWRA) Programme but to receive the subsidy, clients must meet eligibility criteria that are the same as those for self-employment assistance under EWRA programme. MAP Assistance to enter self-employment Target group While there is no specific target group for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment a priority should generally be given to those who are in receipt of an income-tested benefit. Deciding to grant Being eligible for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment is not the same as being entitled to this assistance. Before deciding to grant Flexi-Wage Self-Employment, you first need to assess and identify your client's needs. For every client you refer you must show that this particular assistance is appropriate. Assistance should be targeted where the potential benefits are the greatest.

5 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Clients who may not be eligible This page describes situations where the client may not be eligible for Flexi-Wage Self- Employment and Self-Employment Start-up because they are insolvent, have an existing business, or were previously self-employed. Client is insolvent The Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy and/or Self-Employment Start-up cannot be approved for clients who are currently declared bankrupt or subject to any other insolvency procedures. A client's status can be checked through the following website: Insolvency Register: oasis/domain/communications/searchinsolvencyregister.wdk Existing business Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up should not be used to fund an existing business. However there may be exceptions. For example the client is operating an existing casual or part-time business, or the business is in the early stages of development and the client is not yet self-sufficient. Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up should only be granted if it will lead to a full-time business, enabling the client to become self-sufficient by the end of the subsidy period. Thus it may be considered when an existing casual or part-time business is not generating enough income to fully support the client but has the potential to expand and therefore fully support the client if assisted by the Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self- Employment Start-up. To determine whether an existing business exists, you need to consider the following: is the client working full-time or part-time in their business? If full-time, is the client still in the early stages of development of their business? if the client is not yet self-sufficient and their business is casual or part-time, would the client become self-sufficient if they worked full-time in their business and what is preventing the client from working full-time in their business? That is, is there a financial barrier that if addressed with Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self- Employment Start-up, could lead to a full-time and self-sufficient business? If you are unsure about whether it would be appropriate to pay Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up for an existing business, please talk to your service centre manager, and if required, National Office before making your decision.

6 Previously self-employed Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up should not be used to restart a previously existing business operated by the client. If a client was previously self-employed or received Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up (particularly in the past 52 weeks) you will need to obtain information about this before making a decision. You will need to look carefully at the reasons why the client is no longer operating the business to determine whether they should receive this kind of assistance. Consider the following: could Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up be funding an existing business that is already making the client self-sufficient? has the client received Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up in the past 52 weeks? if a previous business idea has failed, could this fail for similar reasons? does the business plan address the reasons the previous business failed? if the business was sold, what was the reason for selling? The client may have a good and sufficient reason for selling the business for example, a medical condition. Does the new business take account of this or other reasons? has the client applied for other sources for funding? The Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up is 'last resort' funding. If the client has previously, or recently, operated a successful business, they may be able to borrow funds commercially on the strength of their previous business experience/s. Note it is the client's responsibility to provide the necessary verification of their previous business or situation to enable you to make a decision.

7 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Industries that may not be suitable This page describes industries that may not be suitable for Flexi-Wage Self- Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up. Determining if an industry is suitable The type of industry must be legal, appropriate and acceptable to the wider community and Work and Income. Deciding whether a business is suitable involves not only considering the nature of the business, and the clients circumstances, but also the nature of the industry. The following industries may not be suitable: Taxi industry There is nothing to stop Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up being given to a person interested in the taxi industry if they are intending to work as selfemployed and not for a company. However, if there are already a number of taxi services in the town then it would not be a good idea to use Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up to support a person into this business, as there may not be enough work. Real estate industry We generally do not use Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up to support a person into real estate as it is not seen as financially viable. It would be very hard to write a business plan for real estate as it is impossible to determine how many houses the client will sell and what income they will receive from the sales. Income will also not come in on a regular basis due to the commission based nature of real estate sales. For instance, one month the client may make a sale but then it could be five months before another sale is made. The client will have to live off the income from the first sale, not knowing when the next sale will happen and therefore could find themselves in financial hardship. If, after taking the above into consideration, you decide to pay Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up then you will need to check that the applicant does not have an employee-employer relationship with the real estate organisation they are under, otherwise it is not self-employment. Commission sales We generally do not use Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up support a person into commission sales. This is because income may not be earned on a regular basis due to the nature of commission selling for the reasons above.

8 If you decide to pay Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up then you will need to check that the applicant does not have an employee-employer relationship with the organisation they are selling for, otherwise it is not self-employment. Non-profit organisations Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up should only be used to support a person to establish a non-profit organisation if they are able to sustain reasonable employment in the non-profit organisation. A non-profit organisation pays people to work but does not generate profit. Proceeds are given to charitable societies or events. The client must be a working staff member because proceeds cannot be used to pay the client. The aim of Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up is to move a client into self-employment. Over time it is expected the client will be able to fully support themselves from their business. This can only be done through a non-profit organisation if it is able to generate enough money to pay the people working for it and the client is an employee.

9 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Inappropriate businesses This page list a number of businesses that are inappropriate for Flexi-Wage Self- Employment and Self-Employment Start-up. Inappropriate businesses include (but are not limited to): massage parlours strip clubs premises for sex workers to operate in gambling money lending paramilitary services speculative services multi-level network marketing enterprises (for example pyramid selling enterprises) Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Clients who may not be eligible Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Industries that may not be suitable

10 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up People going into business together This page provides information on determining eligibility for Flexi-Wage Self- Employment and Self-Employment Start-up when people going into business together. Couples Married, civil union or de facto couples are each eligible for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up if they are going into business together, as long as both partners intend to work full-time in the business and each partner meets the normal eligibility criteria. In general, couples have a lower cost of living so you should set a lower subsidy rate for each partner. Partnerships/Groups Ensure that all members of the partnership/group intend to participate full-time. Assess the eligibility of each client separately. If there are several people involved in the business, all eligible clients can receive the Business Training and Advice Grant. However it may not be necessary to pay for all group members to undertake business training. The Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy and and/or Self-Employment Start-up payment will be worked out for each client individually depending on his or her living costs and how soon profit will be generated from the business. Only one business plan is required for each business. The business plan will show how many people are in the business and the cash flow will show whether it can sustain this number of people in employment or not. The vetting agent will provide advice on the proposal and will only need to see the one business plan. The advice from the vetting agent will take account of partners. Partnership Agreement Client's going into partnership should have a written partnership agreement (this does not have to be drawn up by a lawyer). A partnership agreement may include the following: what each person is contributing towards the business what each person's roles, obligations and liabilities are towards the business A written partnership agreement can safeguard the client's interests during the partnership

11 and if the partnership is wound up. However, Work and Income does not require a partnership agreement to grant Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Startup. If the partnership is dissolved while Work and Income is providing financial assistance, the parties must inform Work and Income. The current business plan may require amendment to take account of the changed circumstances. Once a partnership is dissolved, the existing Flexi-Wage Self-Employment contract is no longer applicable. This is because the Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up funding was based on a business plan based on partnership. The contract should be cancelled. National Claims Processing Unit can assist with this. If one of the partners wishes to continue operating the business, that person must make a new application for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment. This application must be processed as quickly as possible so as not to disadvantage the client in the operation of the business. Any Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up funding paid to the client during the original contract must be off set against the new contract. It is noted that the dissolution of a firm is a legal procedure.

12 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment Payments This page details the payments for the Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy and how it combines with the Self-Employment Start-up payment. Subsidy amount A Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy of up to $ (including GST) per participant, per week, can be paid for up to 52 weeks as long as it is kept within the annual maximum limit of $22,230 (GST inclusive). Payments must not exceed this limit in a 52 week period. The actual rate of subsidy is determined by the client's weekly living expenses, needs and skills and the expected cash flow of the business. GST is included in Flexi-Wage Self-Employment. The client must contact Inland Revenue to find out the process for working out and declaring his or her business tax. Paying Self-Employment Start-up and other payments When considering making payments for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment, the total amount cannot exceed $22,230 (GST inclusive) in a 52 week period and you need to take into account any other payments that your client may receive or is receiving to support themselves while starting the new business. For example, Flexi-Wage Self-Employment. Generally, the total payments between Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and other identified payments cannot exceed $22,230 (GST inclusive) per participant over a 52-week period.

13 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment Pro rata and tiered subsidies This page explains pro rata wage and tiered subsidies for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and provides an example calculation. When to pay a pro rata subsidy Pro rata wage subsidies for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment are only available to: a client who does not have full-time work obligations who is starting a part-time self-employment opportunity between hours per week or a client with a disability who is starting a part-time self-employment opportunity between hours per week However, it will be expected that the client will be able to fully support themselves from their business in the near future. Pro rata subsidies, for part-time self-employment, include a 10% administration fee to cover administration costs. The following calculation should be used to work out the rate of subsidy. Pro rata example In this example the subsidy for full-time self-employment (30 hours per week) is negotiated at $210 per week. However, the client is only working 18 hours per week. Step 1. Calculate the subsidy as you would for full time self-employment. In this example the full-time subsidy for 30 hours is $210 per week. Step 2. Divide actual hours offered (part-time hours) by 30 (standard full-time hours) to find percentage of hours offered in part-time position. 18/30 x 100 = 60% Step 3. Times the percentage with the amount of subsidy calculated for the full-time position. 60% x $210 (or 60/100 x $210) = $126 Step 4. Add 10% (of the full-time subsidy amount) to the part-time subsidy amount to cover administration costs. 10% x $126 (or 10/100 x $126) = $12.60 (round it up to the nearest dollar = $13) Total pro rata subsidy would be $139 per week ($126 + $13 = $139)

14 Tiered subsidies Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy can be tiered so that as productivity and profit increases, the subsidy decreases. Tiered subsidy example 10 $180 then 10 $150 then 10 $100

15 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Subsidy claims This page outlines how Flexi-Wage Self-Employment wage subsidies and Self-Employment Start-up payments are claimed, what to do for late claims and absence from work due to illness or accident, and the requirements relating to bank accounts. Subsidy claims Flexi-Wage Self-Employment weekly subsidies are usually paid four weeks in advance. It is paid in full week periods only. For example, if a project starts on a Thursday, the week will end on the following Wednesday with the second week starting on Thursday and so on. Late claims After the subsidy period has been completed, the client has three months to submit all outstanding claims. The three month limit is one of the conditions the client agreed to when they signed the Flexi-Wage Self-Employment Agreement. There is no obligation for us to pay outside the three month time limit. Absence from work due to illness or accident If a client is not able to work in their business because of illness or accident for less than a week, then their Flexi-Wage Self-Employment weekly subsidy payment is not affected. If a client is paid by ACC for a full week or receives Jobseeker Support - health condition, injury or disability, then the Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy that has already been paid out for that period of time will need to be repaid. The time period for the Flexi-Wage Self-Employment weekly subsidy can be extended to compensate the worker for the time lost due to illness or accident, but it cannot be extended beyond the limits of the money available. Bank account The Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy and/or Self-Employment Start-up payments should generally be paid into a business account. This is because the payments are related to the business. However, applicants do not need to use a business account and therefore can have it going into a personal account as long as they differentiate between personal and business expenses. Alternatively the applicant could open another account with a different suffix. Whether it goes into a business or personal account, an appointment with either a Business

16 Tax Information Officer or a Maori Community Officer from Inland Revenue should be made by the client so that the client knows how the Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy and Self- Employment Start-up are taxed. This will decrease the risk of tax fraud. To arrangement an appointment with Inland Revenue go to their website at or phone

17 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up How payments affects benefits This page provides information on how Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up affect main benefits. A Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy and/or Self-Employment Start-up payment can affect different types of benefits in different ways. In some situations, receiving Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up will mean the benefit has to be cancelled. In situations where a client still qualifies for a main benefit, the weekly Flexi-Wage Self- Employment subsidy (excluding the GST component of 15%), plus any other income generated from the business, is charged as weekly income from the date it commences to assess the rate of benefit paid. Non-beneficiaries The weekly Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy (excluding the GST component of 15%) and any income generated from the business is chargeable income for extra help assistance such as Accommodation Supplement, Childcare Assistance, Special Benefit and Temporary Additional Support. To see how payments will affect your client's benefit see below: Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Clients receiving Jobseeker Support Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Clients receiving Sole Parent Support Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Clients receiving Supported Living Payment

18 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Clients receiving Jobseeker Support This page provides information on how Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up affect Jobseeker Support. Primary is granted Flexi-Wage Self-Employment If a couple are receiving joint Jobseeker Support and the primary is granted Flexi-Wage Self- Employment then the partner can register as a primary if he or she can meet the eligibility requirements for a statutory benefit. For example, the partner must be available for and willing to undertake suitable employment in order to qualify for Jobseeker Support. If the partner does qualify for a statutory benefit then the original primary (now starting selfemployment) will become the partner on the new benefit. The Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy is charged as income along with other income generated from the business. The benefit will be abated accordingly. If the partner cannot meet the requirements for a statutory benefit, then the Jobseeker Support must be cancelled from the start date of the self-employment business. The couple may be eligible for non-beneficiary assistance. Partner is granted Flexi-Wage Self-Employment If a couple are receiving joint Jobseeker Support and the partner is granted Flexi-Wage Self- Employment then the Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy is charged as income against the Jobseeker Support along with other income generated from the business. The benefit will be abated accordingly. Single client receiving Jobseeker Support When a single client who is receiving Jobseeker Support is granted Flexi-Wage Self- Employment then the Jobseeker Support must be cancelled from the start date of the selfemployment business. The client may be eligible for non-beneficiary assistance. Exception Sole parent and grandparented clients receiving Jobseeker Support may be able to work fulltime for a temporary period as long as their income does not fully abate their benefit. For more information see:

19 Jobseeker Support: Qualifications Temporary Employment period Self-Employment Start-up not considered income The Self-Employment Start-up payment (as opposed to the Flexi-Wage Self-Employment weekly subsidy) should not be charged as income for benefit purposes. The definition of income does not include 'one off' capital payments. The Flexi-wage Self-Employment subsidy, is however, considered income and is therefore charged as income.

20 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Clients receiving Sole Parent Support This page provides information on how Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up affect Sole Parent Support. Considerations The Flexi-Wage Self-Employment is intended to move a client into independence through self-employment. It is expected that the client will in time be able to fully support themselves from their business and will not need to rely on financial assistance from the Government. When a Sole Parent Support client applies for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment you need to consider: is this the most appropriate form of assistance for the client is self-employment the most appropriate option for the client is the business likely to help the client move off their benefit in the long term and has the client indicated that they intend to move off their benefit once the business is established and generating a regular income Note these details should be noted in the client's record. Flexi-Wage Self-Employment can be considered for part-time self-employment if it appears likely to lead into a full-time business. A pro rata subsidy is payable to: a client who does not have full-time work obligations who is starting a part-time self-employment opportunity between hours per week or a client with a disability who is starting a part-time self-employment opportunity between hours per week If the client indicates that the business is unlikely to lead to their independence from Government assistance then Flexi-Wage Self-Employment should not generally be approved. This is because it would not be the most cost-effective use of the resources provided. Income The weekly Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy, plus any other income generated from the business, is charged as weekly income (or included in the annual income assessment where appropriate) from the date it commences to assess the rate of Sole Parent Support payable.

21 Client cannot adjust cash flow to receive maximum benefit support Sole Parent Support clients cannot adjust their cash flow in their business plan to show drawings of $5,200 per year so that they can receive maximum Sole Parent Support as well as Flexi-Wage Self-Employment, if the profit from their business is higher. In terms of assessing 'self employed' income, you can take either the drawings or the profit, whichever is the greater. So, even if the client adjusts their earnings to maximise entitlement to Sole Parent Support you can assess their income from the profit if it is greater. If a client has adjusted their earnings to maximise entitlement to Sole Parent Support, you should consider whether deprivation of income has occurred. If there is sufficient evidence to show that the client qualifies for an increased rate of benefit then you can charge that 'deprived income' against their benefit entitlement. Flexi-Wage Self-Employment not considered income The Self-Employment Start-up payment (as opposed to the Flexi-Wage Self-Employment weekly subsidy) should not be charged as income for benefit purposes. The definition of income does not include 'one off' capital payments. The Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy, is however, considered income and is therefore charged as income.

22 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Clients receiving Supported Living Payment This page provides information on how Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up affect Support Living Payment. Considerations The Flexi-Wage Self-Employment is intended to move a client into independence through self-employment. It is expected that the client will in time be able to fully support themselves from their business and will not need to rely on financial assistance from the Government. When a client is to take up Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and wishes to remain on Supported Living Payment on the ground of a health condition, injury, disability or total blindness, you need to check that they still meet the medical qualifications for this assistance. You also need to consider the following: minimum requirement to receive a Flexi-Wage Self-Employment for clients who do not have work obligations is regular work of 30 hours per week. You must discuss with the client their eligibility to the Sustainable Employment Trial. For more information see: Supported Living Payment Sustainable Employment Trial is this the most appropriate form of assistance for the client is self-employment the most appropriate option for the client is the business likely to help the client move off their benefit in the long term has the client indicated that they intend to move off their benefit once the business is established and generating a regular income If the client still qualifies for Supported Living Payment you need to decide if the business is likely to lead to the client becoming financially independent. If the client indicates that the business is unlikely to lead to their independence from Government assistance then Flexi-Wage Self-Employment should not generally be approved. This is because it would not be the most cost-effective use of the resources provided. The weekly Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy, plus any other income generated from the business, is charged as income to assess the rate to pay the Supported Living Payment. Partner is granted Flexi-Wage Self-Employment If a couple are receiving joint Supported Living Payment and the partner is receiving Flexi- Wage Self-Employment then the Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy is charged as income along with other income generated from the business. The benefit will be abated accordingly.

23 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment not considered income The Self-Employment Start-up payment (as opposed to the Flexi-Wage Self-Employment weekly subsidy) should not be charged as income for benefit purposes. The definition of income does not include 'one off' capital payments. The Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy, is however, considered income and is therefore charged as income. For more information see: Core policy Definition of income

24 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Process overview Information not available - procedural

25 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Business Plan This page provides additional information on the business plan required for Flexi-Wage Self- Employment and Self-Employment Start-up. Stage Steps Tools & Forms The business plan should include the following information: the name of the applicant the name of the business the legal status of the business evidence that the business location is suitable and an indication that equipment is available to start work a description of the business, what it is and how it will operate the goods or services that the business will produce or supply the market demand and marketing strategies identification of competitors and their impact financial information (including a cash flow, sources of finance, provision for tax, charge out rate, production costs, how any stock held will be financed, minimum personal expenses) knowledge of taxation and relevant business laws/levies/regulations/licences a list of financial/legal advisors (bank, accountant, lawyer) opportunities for expansion/diversification in the future threats to business establishment and growth prospects for employing staff in the future a contingency plan if things do not go as planned (for example insurance against illness or accident so that the business can operate even if the worker is off work) evidence that the applicant has the skills necessary to run the business and the strengths/weaknesses of the plan. In some cases, especially with trades people, it may be acceptable to have less detailed plans if clients have arranged contract work for at least two, preferably three months.

26 Stage People going into business together Steps The client may need to consult a business advisor for assistance with preparing their business plan. The business plan will need to be vetted by a vetting agent. 3. If there is more than one person applying for Flexi- Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up for the same business (eg partnership) then only one business plan is required for the business. The business plan will show how many people are in the business and the cash flow will show whether it can support this number of people or not. The vetting agent is only providing advice on the proposal. That advice will take account of partners, but it is still only one proposal however many people are involved. Tools & Forms

27 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Roles and responsibilities This page contains information on key roles and the associated responsibilities for the Self- Employment Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up. The Self-Employment Specialist The Self-Employment Specialist will need to do the following process: create an opportunity provider for the client's business self place the client to their business create the contract on SOLO place the client to the contract and send to Regional Approver complete the on-line Flexi-Wage Self-Employment Agreement contract send on-line Flexi-Wage Employment Agreement contract to Regional Approver National Claims Processing will administer all payments for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up. Client requirements When applying for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up the client must: submit a business plan to Work and Income have a business plan vetted and assessed as viable by a vetting agent approved by your service centre and agree to submit a mid-project financial report on their business to Work and Income if receiving an ongoing Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy provide all documents i.e bank account, IRD and GST number. Vetting agent The vetting agent must: have a formal agreement with Work and Income and have the service they provide formally reviewed annually. Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Vetting agents and vetting reports

28 Business advisor Business advisors in general should help the client prepare their own business plan rather than writing it for them. They should encourage the client to carry out their own research about various issues such as taxation or legal requirements rather than doing it for them. If clients have most of the preparation of the plan done by advisors then the client may not have a full understanding of their own business. Obviously, the amount of support each client needs will vary considerably. The business advisor is not authorised to approve payment, they advise only. The business advisor may help the client determine the amount required from the Self-Employment Startup for start-up costs but they cannot say what the amount for the Flexi-Wage Self- Employment subsidy should be. This is determined between the service centre and the client and depends on the client's living expenses and the expected cash flow of the business.

29 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Vetting agents and vetting reports This page outlines the process for vetting business plans for Flexi-Wage Self Employment and Self-Employment Start-up applications. Vetting agent Vetting agents must be approved by your service centre before the applicant presents their business plan to them. Vetting agents may be accountants, employment resource centres, enterprise development boards, or even an assessment panel comprised of local business people to assess the business plans. Vetting agents must be an independent service provider who has not previously been involved with the client, either in the capacity of providing Small Business training and/or advice, or business plan development. The vetting agent will be expected to view and comment on the mid project report for any client for whom they have completed the initial vetting report. The vetting agent is to make a recommendation to the service centre manager to assist in whether the business is to continue or not. The regional contracts managers are to help service centres/regions to: tender out the services for vetting agents and organise formal agreements between vetting agents and service centres/regions Vetting report Vetting is separate from the development of the business plan. The vetting report is required so that impartial comments and advice on the business plan are available. The vetting report is to assist the service centre manager (or delegated level 4 manager) in making a decision as to whether the business appears to be a viable proposition. The vetting agent s role is strictly advisory and refers only to the business, skills and knowledge of the client to run the business. The responsibility for assessing the client s disadvantage in the labour market and approving projects remains with you (or the person in your service centre who has this authority). If, after reading the report on the business plan, it is still unclear whether the business would be viable, then you should ask the client and/or vetting agent for more information.

30 The vetting report is a separate document not part of the business plan. Vetting report contents The vetting agent should examine the business plan and provide an impartial report on: productivity levels actual versus forecast cash flow cash flow expectations for the next six months and a comment on the likely success of the business in the local labour market Since assessing the likelihood of success is difficult, a maybe is an acceptable comment. The vetting agent should also: comment on each of the main issues raised in the business plan identify strengths and weaknesses of the plan determine if the client has the skills to run the business assess the ability of the client to adapt to changes and assess whether the client has the ability to market the goods or services produced The assessment should give the client a chance to address any weaknesses found in the plan before a decision is made.

31 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Approval process and decision guidelines The business advisor, the vetting agent or an Flexi-wage Self Employment panel are not authorised to approve an Flexi-wage Self Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up. They can advise only. You have the discretion to decline applications for Flexi-wage Self Employment and/or Self- Employment Start-up if: the evidence shows that the business is unlikely to succeed or the client does not meet the eligibility criteria for the Flexi-wage Self Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up the business is considered unsuitable, inappropriate or high risk Decision guidelines The following factors should be used to help to decide whether to grant a Flexi-wage Self Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up: the disadvantage of the client in the labour market (duration on the register, time unemployed, age and skills) the client s understanding of the plan especially the cash flow thoroughness of preparation the cash flow needs of the business most businesses take some time before they generate much income. It is not a cost-effective use of resources to set a lower subsidy if it reduces the chances of a successful outcome whether the business plan is adequate and whether it has been assessed or vetted properly the impact of the business on other businesses already in the industry. For example, it may be unwise to help people enter the taxi business in some metropolitan areas if there is already an excess of people in this area of employment whether the client needs the financial assistance Some examples might include someone with a partner on a high income or someone buying into an established business with a good cash flow if the business is being run by a married, civil union or de facto couple, make sure both intend to work full-time if the business is being run by a group, make sure the business income will support everyone who is working For example, if there are five people involved, the business should produce a profit of five times greater than a sole trader whether it is a new business for the applicant if the business is appropriate and acceptable to the wider community and Work and Income and if the client s background/history will impact on the suitability of the business

32 In some situations an existing casual or part-time business that is not generating enough income to fully support the client may be eligible for Flexi-wage Self Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up. In these instances, the Flexi-wage Self Employment programme may assist the client to expand their business to full-time, enabling the client to become self-sufficient by the end of the subsidy period. If you are unsure about whether it would be appropriate to pay Flexi-wage Self Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up for an existing business, please talk to your Service Centre Manager, and if required contact Helpline to assist you in making your decision. The Flexi-wage Self Employment and/or Self-Employment Start-up is not an automatic entitlement for clients who meet the minimum criteria. Each client should be assessed individually on the basis of: disadvantage in the labour market the quality of the business plan (taking into account the vetting agent s report) Self-Employment Start-up Example payment recovery letter Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up Vetting agents and vetting reports

33 Flexi-Wage Self Employment and Self-Employment Start-up - Quick Reference Guide Information not available - procedural

34 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment Review process for clients This page describes the process for reviewing decisions on the Flexi-Wage Self- Employment wage subsidy. It is important that any decision is fully documented in the client's Flexi-Wage Self- Employment file so that it is clear why the decision was made. You need to explain the reason for decline to the client as well as documenting the decision and noting anything which is considered unusual (or potentially controversial) so that an independent person can see later how and why the decision was made. If the client is still not satisfied as to why their application was declined, they may request a review in writing. The review must be done by a person within the region who was not involved in the decision making process. The review must be completed within five working days of receiving the written request. Note decisions regarding the Flexi-Wage Self-Employment subsidy are not reviewable to the Benefit Review Committee or Social Security Appeal Authority. Decisions on Self-Employment Start-up payments are reviewable to the Benefit Review Committee or Social Security Appeal Authority.

35 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment Monitoring Information not available - procedural

36 Flexi-Wage Self-Employment ad Self-Employment Start-up Project financial report This page provides information on the project financial report that is required for Flexi-Wage Self-Employment and Self-Employment Start-up. Clients must provide a project financial report. The client must allow you to review the cash book and provide a written report, which includes: productivity levels, for example the number of jobs and items manufactured the actual cash flow a comparison of performance against the original business plan cash flow expectations for at least the next six months and comment on the likely success of the business If the project financial report is reviewed by the vetting agent who completed the initial vetting report. The vetting agent makes a recommendation to the service centre manager to assist in whether the business is to continue or not. It may be more appropriate to ask for a report in the first two or three months. The project financial report date will be agreed upon by Work and Income and the client. The purpose of the project financial report is to: ensure that the business is still operating and funds are used in the way they were meant to be and give the client an incentive to keep up-to-date with their business and record keeping and provide a reasonable objective way to evaluate if an extension is appropriate (if requested) If the financial report shows the business is not performing well, you should consider: reviewing the subsidy rate and duration if the business still has a chance of success or terminating the project if the business is unlikely to succeed

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