The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) and Business New Zealand (BNZ) are issuing a joint statement calling on all workplaces to play their part in ensuring that New Zealand beats the latest COVID outbreak and help minimise risk of future outbreaks.
“Workplaces are a crucial element of NZ’s defence against COVID. It’s vital that everyone, both employers and employees, work together,” says Richard Wagstaff, President of the CTU.
Kirk Hope, Chief Executive of Business New Zealand said: “We have a COVID-19 strategy that is really quite simple – everyone must stay away from work and isolate if they have symptoms or are a close contact. It’s essential everyone is willing and able to stick to this strategy”.
“We need to work together so that isolation is not only the right thing to do, but also the easy thing to do. Workplaces must communicate this message so that everyone knows what’s expected of them. There should be no disadvantage or penalty of any kind for shielding others from COVID-19,” says Richard Wagstaff.
“Every business and every worker must do everything in their power to get ahead of the latest COVID outbreak. The consequences and costs of failure would be huge for all of us,” says Kirk Hope.
Part of achieving that involves everyone being fully aware of the financial supports that are in place from central government. Workplaces should know that:
– While you are waiting for the results of COVID-19 test – The COVID-19 Short-Term Absence Payment is available for businesses, including self-employed people, to help pay their workers who cannot work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result. There’s a one-off payment of $350 for each eligible worker.
– If you are off sick with COVID-19, caring for someone with COVID-19, or have been required to isolate because of COVID-19 – The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is available for employers, including self-employed people, to help pay their employees who need to self-isolate and can’t work from home. The scheme is paid as a lump sum and covers 2 weeks per eligible employee, up to $1176.60 for people who were working 20 hours or more per week.
– The Resurgence Support Payment is a payment to help support viable and ongoing businesses or organisations due to a COVID-19 alert level increase to level 2 or higher. Eligible businesses and organisations can apply to receive the lesser of: – $1,500 plus $400 per full-time equivalent (FTE) employee, up to a maximum of 50 FTEs
– four times (4x) the actual revenue drop experienced by the applicant.
– Information will be available this week about a Wage Subsidy for employers and self-employed people impacted by COVID-19. This scheme will be available across New Zealand.
– There are a range of supports for businesses during COVID-19 from Inland Revenue. These can be found at: https://www.ird.govt.nz/covid-19/latest-policy-initiatives There are a range of supports for business and families from the Ministry of Social Development. These can be found at: https://workandincome.govt.nz/covid-19/index.html
BNZ and the CTU are continuing to engage positively and constructively with Government to make sure adequate support and information is getting out into workplaces. We look forward to working together to eliminate COVID-19 from New Zealand.
For more information contact:
Richard Wagstaff, CTU President