GHSL COVID-19 Update 19 March 2020


The GHSL does not have an official role in the government’s COVID-19 response, but we are working to ensure we provide the appropriate amount of support to agencies throughout this period.  

Who are the lead agencies for workplace advice? 

• Ministry of Health is the overall lead agency - as outlined in the NZ Influenza Pandemic Plan. (external link)

• MBIE and WorkSafe co-lead the Workplaces work stream – this includes developing guidance for NZ businesses.  Check out the Employment NZ(external link) and Business.govt.nz (external link)websites.
• The State Services Commission’s role is to give advice to state services agencies - this includes advice on pandemic-related issues, including health and safety.  Check out the COVID-19 State Services Workforce Guidelines(external link) for agencies. 

GHSL's Role

We are engaging and working closely with these lead agencies (WorkSafe and SSC in particular) to provide input to guidance and to channel queries and concerns we receive from agencies.  

If you have any queries contact us directly via our ghsl@mpi.govt.nz inbox,  also we are responding to SSC queries regarding health and safety.  Where required we’ll provide specific guidance or resources – at the moment we’re finalising a working from home guide.   

Communications

It’s important that communications are centralised during this period so in most cases GHSL will contribute to information provided on key websites and newsletters from lead agencies rather than communicating directly.  

Websites
• Government centralised website- Covid19.govt.nz (external link)
Ministry of Health(external link)
Employment NZ(external link) and Business.govt.nz(external link)
COVID-19 State Services Workforce Guidelines (external link)

Email / Newsletters

Any health and safety related messages to Chief Executives will be included in the State Services Commission COVID-19 HUDO newsletters. We will also be communicating via email with our H&S network.

Using Online Collaboration Technology

We are in the process of identifying a web-based collaboration tool to allow agency health and safety professionals to discuss and share information relating to COVID-19 health and safety.  Going forward we will be looking to use skype/webinar technology for any of our future forums.  

General Agency Support 

We’re responding to all agency queries and will continue to do so – please email us at ghsl@mpi.govt.nz  or 0800 HS LEAD.

We are in the process of contacting agencies across the sector to better understand the impact of COVID-19 response on our health and safety workforce and work programmes.  This will allow us to better identify where to direct our future efforts. As always, we’re here to help. 

You can contact our team by phone and email or via skype for business access.