Employers and employees need to work together to keep each other safe during the global COVID-19 pandemic. This means that the normal obligations to keep in regular contact and to act in good faith are more important than ever.
Employment law still applies to all employment relationships, regardless of the circumstances that we find ourselves in, including during a pandemic or a natural disaster:
- Your employer must have a written employment agreement (employment contract) for every employee, and employers and employees must do what that agreement calls for.
- Your employer must keep each written employment agreement up to date, including documenting in writing any changes to any terms and conditions of employment you have agreed.
- Employers and employees must follow employment law and any other relevant contractual conditions to change any employment arrangements.
- Employers must negotiate with union representatives, where a union represents the employees, before any changes are made to collective agreements.
- Employers must comply with all minimum employment standards and with the Employment Relations Act 2000.
Employers and employees should first talk about whether the employee can continue to work normally and how the employee can work safely at home or at their place of work.
Testing and isolation
Note: If you are a health care worker, you should refer to the guidance provided by the Ministry of Health: