Essential Service Employees and Covid-19
Is my business ‘considered’ an Essential Service?
is a list of Essential Services – these are any business that provides for the necessities of life. Only
businesses that are included in this list of Essential Services are allowed to
operate during Alert Level 4 Lockdown.
list is updated regularly at https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/current-covid-19-alert-level/essential-businesses/.
Government has released a statement that if New Zealand remains at this Alert
Level for a greater period than the initial 4 weeks, more businesses will be
listed as Essential Services in order to facilitate the self-isolation of the
majority of the population.
What does this mean for employers
are not released from their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act
2015. They must continue to protect
their workers against harm to their health, safety, and welfare by eliminating
and minimising risks arising from work. This includes initiating and applying
specific Covid-19 protocols to ensure the safety and protection of their
Employees. If an Employer does not do this, they could suffer prosecution under
the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 for exposing their Employees to danger.
Services will continue to operate during Alert Level 4 but if alternative ways
of working are possible then they should be considered and used. Protocols that
should be implemented by Employers include:
working with the same group of
Employees to reduce cross-infection of household bubbles;
meal breaks for Employees rostered on;
and practicing physical distancing of minimum of 2 metres;
standard of cleanliness, frequent cleaning of all areas that have exposure to
protective equipment for Employees where appropriate