National State of Emergency – Impact on Business / Mortgage Relief

The declaration of a State of National Emergency on 25th March will impact on employers.
The Civil Defence Emergency Management Act (CDEMA) sets out the powers that may be exercised following the state of emergency being declared, these include:

  • The power to stop people working in non-essential services.
  • The power to exclude persons from any premises or place where they consider the exclusion is necessary for the preservation of human life.
  • The power to break into any premises if necessary, for saving life, preventing injury, or removing endangered persons.
  • The power to restrict public access to any public place.

Penalties for failing to comply with powers under CDEMA are:

  • Imprisonment not exceeding 3 months, or a fine not exceeding $5,000 – or both – for an individual.
  • A fine not exceeding $50,000.00 for a body Corp

Epidemic Notice

The Government also issued an Epidemic Notice (“EN”) on 25 March. The EP gives the Medical Officer of Health additional powers including:

  • To require places, buildings, and people to be isolated, quarantined, or disinfected as they see fit.
  • Require all premises within the district of any kind to be closed.
  • Forbid people to congregate in places of recreation or amusement.
  • Police are also able to do anything reasonably necessary to ensure compliance to help the Medical Officer to exercise these powers including:
  • The use of force
  • Enter and inspect any building

Mortgage Holiday

Mortgage arrears can affect credit rating.

The banks are working with the Government to provide people with the ability for home lending backed by a mortgage, the deferral of payments for 6 months.
What this will mean is that if this option is taken up it will take you longer to pay your loan off, but will ease cashflow, if required.

Various banks will have different arrangements attaching to the deferral.

Apparently, anyone is eligible if their mortgage is not in arrears.
More details are due Monday 30 March 2020.

We Can Help:

Please contact us if you require assistance in respect of your obligation as Employers
027 202 3921


This publication is necessarily brief and general in nature. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.

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