The current nationwide lockdown has thrown into sharp relief the need for workplaces to remain prepared and responsive to the challenges Covid-19 raises.  An important part of this is putting in place clear rules and guidelines for staff about Covid-related issues.  

While all workplaces are unique, there are some issues which Covid-19 raises which we all have to grapple with. Rather than dealing with these issues as they arise, we recommend employers and employees collaborate to create a policy which provides everybody with as much certainty as possible about the practical challenges Covid-19 raises in the workplace.

The purpose of a Covid-19 policy is to deal with practical questions many staff will have, such as:

  • Am I required to stay home if I am unwell?
  • Am I required to stay home if someone in my household is unwell?
  • What should I do if I have to get a Covid test?
  • Will I be paid or receive sick leave while I wait for the test result?
  • What health measures are in place at my workplace and am I required to comply with them?
  • How should I interact with clients and customers during the different alert levels?
  • Who do I inform if I plan to travel overseas?
  • Can my employer place rules/expectations on me if I travel overseas?
  • Can my employer refuse to let me travel overseas?
  • What will happen to my role if I get stuck overseas and cannot return to New Zealand when I planned?
  • Who covers the cost if I am stuck overseas?
  • Am I expected to work while in MIQ?
  • Who do I notify if I have been at a location of interest?
  • Who do I notify if I test positive for Covid-19?
  • Am I required by my employer to be vaccinated?

Putting in place a policy which deals with the above types of issues will provide your staff with some certainty and hopefully avoid confusion or disputes that dealing with these issues on an ad hoc basis can create.  


If you would like to develop a Covid-19 Policy for your workplace, please get in touch with our employment law team.