There are many questions during Level 4 & 3 lockdown about the responsibilities for employers. Luckily, the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) have set out all the required information.
Two of the most commonly asked questions are:
1. Can I make employees take annual leave during lockdown?
The short answer here is no. You can talk to you employees and try to come to an agreement about how their annual leave might be applied during lockdown, but you can’t make them take annual leave starting immediately. The only time you can make an employee take annual leave is when an agreement cannot be reached about when the annual leave will be taken – in which case you must give the employee at least 14 days’ notice. Get all the details here.
2. Can I make employees take a pay cut during lockdown?
Again, the short answer is no. You can negotiate for a change in pay, hours or duties, but you do need to reach an agreement with the employee. It must be set out in writing and the employee needs times to consider the new arrangement.
Remember, you can apply for the wage subsidy or other financial support if your business revenue is suffering under lockdown. Read more about your options here.
Where to find more information
The Employment website, provided by MBIE, lets you navigate all your responsibilities as an employer during lockdown. For instance:
- You can find out more about working at different lockdown levels here.
- There’s a page on financial support for businesses here.
- Information about vaccines and the workplace can be found here.
If you’re concerned about your business’s finances during this time, we can help you identify what help you might be entitled to. Give us a call – we’re here to help!