Navigating Employer's Obligations During Alert Level 3

Article Published : 20.04.2020

On Wednesday 16 April 2020, the Government issued guidance around what we can expect from businesses during Alert Level 3.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that although most businesses may begin to reopen, they will not be able go back to business as usual.

If employees are able to work from home then they must continue to do so. If businesses reopen, measures must be taken to ensure the health and safety of their customers and employees. These measures include:

1.            Limiting contact between groups of workers;

2.            Maintaining one metre of distance between each worker;

3.            Consistently disinfecting surfaces;

4.            Maintaining a high level of hygiene; and

5.            Keeping records of who is working together.

Businesses that offer services requiring face to face contact or continuous close contact (such as hairdressers, gyms and domestic cleaners) are not allowed to reopen under Alert Level 3.

Retail and hospitality businesses may reopen, but only for deliveries or contactless pick-ups. Customers are not permitted to enter their premises.

Business may offer some home services, such as repairs or installations, but only if it is safe and if the worker maintains two metres of distance from those within the house.

Employers have a number of health and safety obligations to their employees and should take the time to carefully consider them before reopening any parts of their business.

Please contact Gareth Abdinor at gareth.abdinor@malley.co.nz or Grace Moore at grace.moore@malley.co.nz for advice on your specific obligations under Alert Level 3.

Article by Grace Moore

Grace joined Malley & Co in 2017 after graduating from the University of Canterbury and she is currently working in our employment law team.

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