[EMPLOYMENT NZ] COVID-19 AND THE WORKPLACE
Guidance for employees, employers, and businesses around COVID-19 and the workplace, including leave and pay entitlements, and modifying employment agreements.
General guidance for workplaces
- Employers and employees need to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19, protect New Zealand and keep each other safe. This means that normal obligations to keep in regular contact and to act in good faith are more important than ever.
- Regular employment law still applies to all employment relationships – regardless of the circumstances that we find ourselves in. This includes anything that has been agreed to in an employment agreement.
- Under no circumstances can employers pay less than the minimum wage or reduce any of employees’ legal minimum employment entitlements.
- Employers and employees need to discuss, in good faith, any changes in work arrangements, leave and pay, or health and safety measures.
- In the absence of an agreement to alternative working arrangements, employees need to return to work if there is no reason the employee needs to stay away from work under public health guidance from the Ministry of Health
- If a worker is sick with COVID-19, or required to self-isolate, the first consideration for an employer should be to look after people, contain COVID-19 and protect public health. Businesses may be able to apply for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme to support their employees.
- Employers should not knowingly allow workers to come to a workplace when they are sick with COVID-19 or required to self-isolate under public health guidelines for COVID-19. If they do, they are likely to be in breach of their duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
- Businesses should check if they are eligible for financial support on the Work and Income website.
To see the full reference, click here