“It will not be life as normal, it will be different”

On 23 March 2020 the Government announced that the COVID-19 alert level was to rise immediately to Level 3 and then rise to Level 4 on Wednesday 25 March 2020, for four weeks.

The Treasury has also announced its COVID-19 economic package to support businesses and individuals.

In Summary:

  • We have been directed to “Stay at Home”
  • Avoid public spaces.
  • Covid-19 virus exists on outside surfaces for up to 72 hours.
  • Non-essential businesses are required to close.
  • Essential services are required to ensure workers undertake their work at least 2 metres apart and/or wear appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment (PPE).
  • The Government will provide more information on what are considered essential services in the next few days. The list will evolve.
  • Some work visas will be extended. 
  • More stringent self-isolation steps may apply to returning NZs

Essential Services

The following are considered essential services, however this list is evolving:

  • Supermarkets
  • Public service (Police, Fire Fighters, Ambulance staff)
  • Health care 
  • Pharmacies
  • Defence
  • Media 
  • Businesses involved in the food supply chain
  • Primary industries
  • Energy 
  • Service stations
  • Waste removal
  • Internet
  • Essential banking services
  • Financial support  
  • Accommodation – if it provides accommodation for essential workers; isolation/quarantine; emergency housing

Level Three – Practical Implications

  • Travel is limited
  • Educational facilities will be closed 
  • Schools will remain open for children of parents working in essential services until midnight on Wednesday 25 March 2020
  • Indoor and outdoor events where people are gathered are cancelled
  • Bars, cafes, restaurants, libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, amusement parks, playgrounds must close except for take away services. Take away services must close by midnight Wednesday 25 March 2020.
  • People working for non-essential businesses must work from home
  • People working for essential businesses are required to be physically distanced by 2 metres and/or wear appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment
  • Elective services in hospitals are deferred

Level Four – Practical Implications

  • People are required to self-isolate at home and not interact with anyone not in the same household
  • Educational facilities will be closed
  • All businesses that are non-essential services must close 
  • Essential services remain open
  • Travel is limited –to local
  • There will be reprioritisation of healthcare services

Self – Isolation

  • We are in lock down
  • Stay home
  • Avoid public places
  • You can go to the supermarket – wash hands when you get home
  • You can go for a walk in the fresh air, but only with those you are in isolation with. Keep 2 metres away from others.
  • You can go for a drive, but only locally
  • Mixing with others spreads the virus

Financial Assistance

  • The banks have agreed to provide a 6-month mortgage holiday if you have been affected by Covid-19 – more details to come
  • Loans are available for businesses that qualify
  • Wage subsidy schemes are available for employers
  • Benefits have been increased by $25.00 a week
  • Rent freezes are in place

Our Suggestions

  • Contact your landlord for a rent holiday for a month
  • Talk to your bank and discuss options for a mortgage holiday and business loan
  • Consult with your employees. Discuss options such as taking annual leave, unpaid leave, using lieu days, sick leave, and applying for the Government subsidy. Reassure your staff that we are all in this together, that you will keep them updated during the next four weeks by email, and the importance of being kind to each other in these unprecedented times.
  • If your business is a non-essential business, take steps to close.
  • Help your team with their wellbeing. We will post free information on our website – on a regular basis
  • If you are required to cease operating or if there is no work, then you could, following due process and consultation, terminate roles for economic reasons.

We Can Help
Please contact us if you require assistance in respect of your obligation as Employers

027 202 3921

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