April 17th, 2020 - Barbara Buckett

17 April 2020 – Workplaces During Alert Level 3.

Key messages in preparing to come out of lock down:

A lot of business owners will have sighed some sort of relief at the Prime Minister’s statement yesterday that a lot of businesses will be able to reopen when we move into Alert Level 3.

The government has given some early pre-indication as to what level 3 might look like so business can prepare for the coming out of lock down.

However, there will still be requirements in place to ensure we keep up our battle to eliminate COVID-19.

Workers who can work from home must keep doing so, if employees are re-entering the workplace health and safety measures need to be thorough and must all continue to maintain social distancing and hygiene practices.

Industry specific guidelines will be released by the government in coming days.

Level 3 will be confusing. It is important with your business in mind to take advantage of the more relaxed state without offending.

Look for opportunities.

Essential businesses
All essential businesses can continue to operate as they do at Alert Level 4 consistently with public health guidelines. Social distancing and strict hygiene practices still apply.

Non-essential businesses where workers can work from home
If possible, workers must continue to work from home unless that is not possible. At Alert Level 3 we are keeping contact with people to an absolute minimum. Employer obligations to engage with all employees working from home remain.

Non-essential businesses where workers cannot work from home
At Alert Level 3 some businesses who were not able to operate at Alert Level 4 can begin to re-open. They must do so safely and not have any contact with the public. Operating safely includes:

– keeping at least one metre between workers
– recording who is working together
– limiting interaction between groups of workers
– no physical interaction with customers
– disinfecting surfaces
– maintaining high hygiene standards

Retail and hospitality businesses may re-open if they comply with the above standards and only offer pre-ordered delivery or contactless pick up services.

Businesses who deliver in home services (i.e. trades people for repairs or furniture removal) may operate as long as strict hygiene and social distancing of at least two metres is always maintained.

Businesses where face-to-face contact or sustained close contact is involved (i.e. hair dressers, in-home cleaners, door-to-door sales people, gyms) cannot operate under Alert Level 3. Public health guidelines state that any contact, even two metres apart, for more than 15 minutes must not occur.

We are in this together. Always, if you have any doubts queries etc. BuckettLaw would be pleased to help.

Remember: #ResilenceKindnessCommunicate.

Note: BuckettLaw takes no responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of our articles. Any views expressed or comments made in an article are the writers option only. The content in our articles does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal or expert advice you should obtain specific advice about your case or matter from a professional. For legal advice based on your individual situation please contact us to speak with one of our expert lawyers.

Enjoy a complimentary 15-minute phone call as a first-time offer.

Barbara Buckett

Barbara Buckett is a highly experienced senior employment lawyer with over 35 years of practice in New Zealand. She provides expert advice on all areas of employment law and has a proven track record of delivering excellent results for clients. Barbara has extensive experience in resolving workplace issues and is an experienced litigator. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, working out, and fine wine and dining with friends.

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