Frequently asked questions: COVID-19 and the workplace

Answers to questions workers may have about COVID-19.

From 15 August 2023, there is no longer a legal requirement to isolate when someone tests positive with COVID-19. This page is currently under review. Read COVID-19 and the workplace for more information.

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.

Leave and pay

Testing and isolation

Note: If you are a health care worker, you should refer to the guidance provided by the Ministry of Health:

Guidance for return to work of healthcare workers – Ministry of Health (external link)

Health and safety

Workplace changes

Further support

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Page last revised: 14 September 2022

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