During and after a disaster or emergency, the health, safety and security of people should be the main concern of all employers and employees.

Pay and leave

Generally, if the situation is not covered within an employment agreement or workplace policy, an employer is required to pay an employee who is ready, willing, and able to work.

If the workplace cannot be accessed, is closed, or is open but the employee is unable to work, employers and employees should refer to the employment agreement, workplace policies and the specific circumstances to determine leave and pay.

If an employee can work from home, they must be paid for each and every hour that they work as set out in their employment agreement.

If an employee is unable to work from home, and it is unclear what they should be paid, the employee and the employer should consult the employment agreement, discuss, and seek to reach agreement in good faith.

[LINK] Pay and leave during and after disasters

Workplace and employment changes

An employer cannot make changes to an employment agreement without talking to the employee in good faith and the employee agreeing to it.

Any proposal that involves redundancy must be consulted and comply with other employment law obligations, including doing what the employment agreement says.

Support for businesses and employees

If you have a problem at work and you cannot come to an agreement, you can use MBIE’s Early Resolution Service. This is a free phone-based service for employees and employers providing assistance to resolve a workplace issue early, quickly, and informally, before it becomes too serious or needs a more formal process.

[LINK] Early Resolution

If you have concerns as a migrant worker or suspect you are a victim of migrant exploitation, please call 0800 200 088. Interpreters are available for this service.

[LINK] Migrant exploitation

If you've lost your job or can't work at the moment, you may be able to get a benefit or some other financial support from Work and Income. More information can be found here:

You're not working – Work and Income(external link) 

Information for business owners about operating safely, insurance claims, financial support and more can be found here:

Extreme weather: Information for businesses – Business.govt.nz(external link)