Covid-19 update for NRC Members (Monday 16 March 2020).
Corona Virus Covid-19 update for NRC Members
Update from 20 FEB 2020 https://www.natroad.co.nz/Story?Action=View&Story_id=2315
The Current Situation
· This is a fluid and rapidly changing situation. Therefore, please refer links below and other media for updates. The Assn will also provide necessary updates.
· Last Wednesday, the World Health Organisation declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic.
· Over the weekend the Government introduced strict travel restrictions to prevent the rapid spread of Covid-19.
• Effective from 1am Monday 16 March (today), all travellers, except for those coming from the Pacific islands, will have to self-isolate for 14 days on their arrival in New Zealand
• New Zealanders are advised not to travel overseas if they don't have to
• All cruise ships have been banned from New Zealand until 30 June 2020
See https://nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12316710 for good advice.
· This, and the fact imports, and exports are affected, will have major implications on the New Zealand and world economy.
· We need to be aware of options when it comes to handling staff as many will need to make some tough decisions.
· The Reserve Bank this morning reduced the official cash rate from 1% to 0.25% for at 12 months and delayed the implementation of new capital rules for banks to stimulate the economy.
· Tomorrow the Government will announce a multi-billion dollar package to support industries and employers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
· Since the recent changes by the government has updated its advice on workplace response and employment. Links Below
Covid-19 pandemic impact on the transport industry
· The positive is that trucks are essential to keep the economy going no matter what. During the worst of the Italian restriction’s trucks are still delivering supplies to supermarkets.
· The supply chain (Road, Rail, Sea and Air) will continue to function and keep stocks supplied.
· However, every sector that is affected by Covid-19 will affect the transport sector – forestry & tourism, in particular, is being hard hit.
· The Road Transport Forum (RTF) has approached the Government about relief for the road transport sector. RTF has not had a response yet, but we will keep you posted
· At some point, this disruption will pass and we will return to normal. But we do not know when.
· We need to plan for the worst, hope for the best. Be prepared to keep ahead of developments.
Workforce management to limit the spread of Covid-19
· If an employee in self-isolation does not feel sick and is willing and able, they can offer to work from home and agree with the employer to do so. They will be paid normally.
· If an employee, who has been advised to self-isolate under Ministry of Health guidelines for Covid-19, can't practicably work from home, then special paid leave should be considered. Other forms of paid leave can be considered (such as paid sick leave) and used by agreement between the employer and the employee.
· If the person is sick, or needs to care for a sick dependent, paid sick leave (and anticipated sick leave) may be used. If paid sick leave is not available, paid special leave should be considered. Other forms of paid leave can be used by agreement between the employer and the employee.
· Contractor pay and leave are not covered by this guidance. Employers and contractors can agree to any payment arrangements they wish to.
· Where the employer does not agree there is a reasonable concern about an employee contracting coronavirus at work, they can instruct them to come to the workplace.
· If an employer and employee agree the employee will work from home, the employee will be paid normally. The employer and worker may also agree to other arrangements, for example, paid special leave.
· Employees must follow the reasonable instructions, policies and procedures of their employer.
· Employers should plan ahead and work with workers for likely scenarios of Covid-19.
- For the current situation and advice from The Ministry of Health - https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
- MBIE Workplace guidance for employers and employees - https://www.employment.govt.nz/about/news-and-updates/workplace-response-coronavirus-covid-19/
- Information for businesses - https://www.business.govt.nz/news/coronavirus-information-for-businesses/
- Government information - https://www.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/
- Ministry of Health face mask and hygiene advice - https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-health-advice-general-public/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-face-mask-and-hygiene-advice
- Updated page to reflect above key messages: https://www.employment.govt.nz/about/news-and-updates/workplace-response-coronavirus-covid-19/
- The new page to reflect new scenario: https://www.employment.govt.nz/leave-and-holidays/other-types-of-leave/coronavirus-workplace/employees-who-have-not-yet-left-new-zealand/
For Covid-19 health advice, the Ministry of Health Healthline is 0800 358 5453.
Please refer the RTF website for up to date information https://www.rtfnz.co.nz/covid-19/
Monday 16 March 2020.