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COVID-19: Employers reminded to follow the law

The Council of Trade Unions is reminding employers of their responsibilities to employees as we return to alert levels 2 and 3.

“Employers need to remember that they must act in good faith with employees and their unions. Most employers behaved appropriately earlier in the year when the entire country went into lockdown, but there were some employers who broke the law and treated their employees terribly,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“All employers should now be crystal clear that they cannot change the terms and conditions of peoples employment, or force them to take annual leave, without first negotiating such a change with the employee and their union.”

“Employers must also talk to workers and Health and Safety Representatives about what changes are needed to workplace health and safety plans so that they are compliant with the change in COVID alert levels as introduced today.”

“Employers should access government support where they can in order to keep people in paid work. Employers should also be accessing the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme or providing discretionary sick leave to keep working people, their families and their communities free from COVID-19”.

“There is no doubt that this is a challenging time for us all, but employees are not disposable. All working people deserve fairness, respect and kindness.”

“Once again supermarket workers, cleaners, transport workers, community, health and public sector workers, and many other working New Zealanders are on the frontline. The work that these essential workers are doing is keeping New Zealand going. Again.”

“The power of collective action has been well demonstrated in New Zealand. We can do it again. Together,” Wagstaff said.