The COVID-19 pandemic has already disrupted economies and the way the entire world was habituated to functioning. Though the innovation of vaccines and inoculation programs brought temporary relief, the mutation of the virus and the newest strains have again caused a deep furrow in the brow of governments worldwide.
With the growing cases of COVID-19 across the world, governments have imposed different alert levels depending upon the state and country’s condition. The NZ government had already done the most fabulous job amongst its compatriots by introducing many restrictions and amending labor laws and immigration laws. There has been a terrific development whereby the government has also increased the paid parental leaves during this crisis. A special leave introduced for working mothers has also earned accolades from the rest of the world.
The NZ government has prioritized the health of its citizens-indigenous or expats, over the country’s economy. Nonetheless, they have introduced many economic and employment reforms to stabilize the citizens’ financial condition. They have strategized alert levels in the country as a primary health measure and prevent viral infection.
Let’s learn about the various Alert levels issued in public interest.
Alert level 3 - Restrict
- Individuals are allowed to only travel to places that have limited transmission of COVID-19 cases
- All public gatherings and social places will remain close under alert level 3
- All the affected education facilities will remain closed during the infection period
- There are various provisions that can benefit employees when they are physically ill during the working period. If an individual is sick and unfit to work for a certain period, he/she can use the sick leaves available in the leave portal
- If an employee wants to self-isolate themselves for safety reasons without public health advice, they should inform the employers about this
Alert level 4 - Eliminate
Alert level 4 is a more severe level that requires more precautions and practical strategies to deal with. Contact us to know more about risk management associated with the Eliminate level/alert level 4 in NZ.
- People need to stay in their houses during alert level 4
- Travelling is severely restricted
- All the educational institutions and colleges will be closed
- All businesses, except the essential businesses, will be closed at the elimination level
Can Employers Make Employees Take Leave During These Alert Levels?
With increasing COVID-19 cases across the world, every country is in grave danger. The NZ government has understood the urgent need to declare appropriate alert levels to protect all the citizens from this disease. During the pandemic period, all the employees and employers must work together to safeguard the interests of all NZ individuals. This will not only help to protect the people of NZ, but it will also prove beneficial for all the entire global population.
We have discussed some of the necessary steps that the government wishes the employers and employees to follow during these alert levels. Let’s take a look.
- If the employees of a company cannot perform their duty in prevailing circumstances, the employers can encourage them to continue working from home. Also, employers need to pay them generally in work-from-home cases
- In some cases, workers fail to work from remote locations in NZ. In such cases, employers should initially consider the employment agreement duly signed by any company employee.
- Paid and unpaid leave can be granted to employees in good faith
- At any point in time, employers can make workers take annual leaves if they cannot come to the workplace due to changes in alert levels
- Employers can only make an employee take annual leave if they cannot provide clarification about when to avail of the annual leave
- Apart from annual leaves, there is a criterion for availing sick leave when an employee is physically not fit to perform their duties
- An employer cannot make an employee avail of sick leaves if the worker is unable to work due to alterations in alert levels in NZ
- Employers can make employees take sick leaves only when they cannot work in a company due to physical sickness
- If the NZ worker wishes to self isolate because of safety issues irrespective of public health requirement, they should approach their employers for further process
- Employers should implement a health and safety-based approach to interrogate the condition of their employees
- Organizations should take into account the risk associated with the worker available in the workplace
- Employers and employees’ duties should be considered under the Health and Safety at Workplace Act 2015
- These provisions and leaves are approved in conditions when the parties agree that there is a need for the employee to self-isolate for safety purposes
- Moreover, if the employer does not accept any employee’s self-isolation request during the COVID-19 condition, employers should consider a work-from-home situation for those employees
- Lastly, if the worker can’t work remotely during a particular condition, it becomes the employer’s responsibility to address the employee’s issue immediately. In such cases, employees can arrange various leaves like annual and non-paid special leave
You need to know the status of your employment and stay updated about every necessary step you can undertake during the declaration of these alert levels. Book a consultation for more accurate information regarding different alert levels and leaves that can benefit during the COVID-19 period.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an enormous crisis worldwide. Governments worldwide are executing various regulative measures to ensure their citizens’ safety during this crucial period. The NZ government wishes all the alert levels to be followed appropriately to ensure all its people’s safety and security. Precautions will help in preventing viral transmission to a greater extent.