Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

NZ Lockdown – What Employers Need To Know

Business owners in Auckland should prepare for the worst but plan for the best, following the first recorded cases of COVID-19 community transmission in more than 100 days, according to Employsure, New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisor.

Four new cases of COVID-19 have prompted the Government to impose a three-day, alert level three lockdown in the city from midday until midnight Friday. The rest of the country is under alert level two.

Essential businesses like supermarkets, dairies and petrol stations will remain open and can have customers on their premises under alert level three. Other businesses can trade but can’t have physical contact with customers, i.e. delivery, drive-thru and contactless pickup is allowed. Public venues such as gyms, pools, markets, libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts and playgrounds must close.

“Workers will understandably be confused over the sudden introduction of the lockdown, and it is up to business owners to communicate clearly and concisely with them during this time,” said Employsure Senior Employment Relations Advisor Ashlea Maley.

“If a business can’t operate under the new alert level, the employer has an obligation to consult with workers regarding alternatives, such as working from home, reduced hours, or leave. Employment obligations such as agreements, policies and standards must continue to be met.

“Employers should use this time to make sure they have enough personal protective equipment such as face masks and hand sanitiser, practice good hygiene, and clearly display a QR code for the Government’s Covid-19 tracer app. Any risks to the workplace should be identified and managed.

“If an employer is unable to ensure the safety of themselves and their employees, and working from home is not applicable, then closing may be the only option. This is of course a blow to the industry, and we’re likely to see hundreds of businesses forced to close as a result.”

Businesses in other parts of New Zealand will remain open to the public under alert level two as long as they’re following public health guidelines. Ms Maley is calling on those who choose to remain open to not become complacent.

“It’s been five months since we went into the strongest level of lockdown this country has ever seen, and business owners shouldn’t forget that. If there is an outbreak in the community as a result of complacency, it could be the final nail in the coffin for a number of small businesses that simply do not have the cash flow or resources to survive another wave of restrictions.

“Some businesses are only now getting back on their feet. Employers should use this as a learning opportunity in the event of another sudden lockdown, to work out what their situation is, and how they can overcome it.

“The Government now needs to be clear as to the extent this lockdown will affect business owners. We don’t know if it will extend past the three-day cut off point or not, so it is up to employers to be prepared.

“This is a disappointing result for SMEs. The proof will be in the pudding as to how quickly they can reopen and get back to normal trading.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Auckland Transport: Successful Bridge Repair Opens Two Additional Lanes To Traffic

The opening of two additional lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning will help relieve some motorway congestion for motorists heading home to the North Shore tonight. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>

ALSO:

MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>

ALSO:


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>

ALSO:


University Of Auckland: Whale-Watching By Satellite – Follow Their Travels Online

Scientists have successfully attached satellite tracking tags to six New Zealand southern right whales, or tohorā, and are inviting the public to follow the whales’ travels online. Part of a major research project involving the University of Auckland ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Kiwibank Admits System Failures And Agrees To Pay Customers $5.2 Million

Kiwibank has entered into a settlement agreement with the Commerce Commission after reporting that it failed to have in place robust home loan variation disclosure policies, procedures and systems. In a settlement dated 27 August 2020, Kiwibank admitted that ... More>>

Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>

ALSO:

NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>

ALSO: