On Saturday, 21 March 2020, in response to Covid-19 the Government announced that New Zealand is at stage-2 alert. At stage-2 alert, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is urging employers to consider remote working options, including working from home, where possible.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 provides that no matter when or where an employee works, their health and safety is a shared responsibility between the employer and the employee. It is important that both employers and employees are aware of their shared obligations when remote working.
We suggest that you consider the following when preparing your remote working policy:
- Health and Safety: When working from home and remotely, employee’s are responsible for ensuring their workstation is appropriately set up to work safely and complies with all health and safety requirements.
- Office policies: All policies that apply to employees who are working in the office, also apply when employees are working remotely.
- Privacy: It is the employee’s responsibility to keep all work information secure, especially customer and client records and other sensitive material. It is also important that reasonable care is taken of company information and equipment.
- Client meetings: If conducting video meetings from your remote working space, ensure it is set up appropriately, and consider the message it sends to clients.
- Set-up: Take reasonable steps to keep the organisation’s technology, equipment and information safe and in working order.
For more information and guidelines on remote working go here.
We will continue to provide you with regular updates and information as the Government continues to review its response to Covid-19 and the impacts on businesses and employees.