COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

Workplace preparedness – information for agencies

The links below provide relevant information for the public sector workplaces to prepare and plan for COVID-19. 

General Information

The Ministry of Health is the lead agency for coronavirus information, and their website(external link) is updated daily with the latest information on COVID-19.   

WorkSafe latest information on managing alert level 4 -Whats WorkSafe's approach(external link)

Also, check out the latest All of Government website called  Unite Against COVID-19.(external link) This website contains all the latest information in one centralised place for people, businesses, travellers and community groups. 

Health and Safety

Agencies should consider their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to mitigate health and safety risks. In this case, agencies should consider:

• How do we manage the risk of the spread of infectious disease so far as reasonably practicable?

• How we can support the wellbeing of staff through this period of uncertainty and change?

• How we can best consult and coordinate with other PCBUs as part of our response?

Guidance for infectious disease prevention and control for workplaces is available on the Ministry of Health Website.(external link) 

The Government Health and Safety Lead (GHSL) and State Services Commission (SSC) can support agencies where collaboration or cooperation is required across the sector, especially where a consistent approach is required. Refer to the  SSC COVID19 Workforce Guidelines(external link) on the SSC website for up to date agency advice, or contact ghsl@mpi.govt.nz 

Travel and self-isolation

Agencies should ensure they maintain up-to-date knowledge on temporary entry restrictions and adhere to travel advice from lead agencies (see links below).  

Coronavirus update: INZ’s response (external link)(external link) — Immigration New Zealand

Novel coronavirus, China (Covid-19) (external link)(external link) — SafeTravel (MFAT)

Agencies should ensure employees are aware of and follow Ministry of Health advice in(external link) relation to requirements when returning from category one and category two countries. 

In some cases, agencies may choose to restrict travel to and from category two and/or other countries for various reasons, particularly where travel is non-essential. The Government Health and Safety Lead suggests agencies consider conducting a risk assessment for all work-related travel.  

Workplace preparedness – employer information

MBIE and WorkSafe NZ co-lead the workplaces work stream of the NZ Influenza Pandemic Plan(external link). General advice for employers has been developed. Employment information is located on the Employment New Zealand website.(external link) Health and Safety related information is available on the WorkSafe NZ website.   (external link)

If you have additional questions please email ghsl@mpi.govt.nz and we can direct your query via the appropriate channel.

Employment matters – public sector specific.

In addition to the above, The COVID-19 State Services Workforce Guidelines(external link) also includes information for agencies relating to the treatment of various employment conditions during a pandemic, including mobility and leave.

If you have additional questions, please email ghsl@mpi.govt.nz and we can direct your query via the appropriate channel.