These workforce guidelines assist public sector agencies to comply with the public health and social measures being taken in response to COVID-19.

In applying these guidelines, it is important that public sector agencies take a consistent approach and model what is expected for the rest of New Zealand.

Complying with all required public health and social measures is the bottom line for all agencies while continuing to provide public services to the fullest extent possible for all New Zealand.

Agencies should continue to engage with staff and unions on planning for complying with the public health and social measures of the COVID-19 response.

Agency chief executives are responsible for deciding how to apply these guidelines in the particular context of their agency.

Guidance on the health and safety and workplace considerations is available from the Government Health and Safety Lead and Government Property Group.

These guidelines will be updated as further decisions are made. Check this website for the latest version.

Current situation

On 29 June 2021 the Government announced:

  • The Wellington region will return to Alert Level 1 at 11:59pm Tuesday 29 June 2021.
  • The rest of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 1.

The Unite Against COVID-19 website provides comprehensive information on all aspects of the COVID-19 response.

Everyone is reminded of the importance to record your movements, turn on Bluetooth in the NZ COVID Tracer app and scan QR codes wherever you go and continue to maintain good hygiene practices. 

In addition, face coverings are required on public transport, at all levels. See the COVID-19 website for details.

Key principles to apply at Alert Level 1

Staff are in the workplace. Alert Level 1 does not require physical distancing; workplaces should be operating safely with staff working according to their usual working arrangements.

Adhere to legislative and government requirements. Agencies must adhere to general Health and Safety at Work Act obligations. It will also be important to be aware of the public health advice for Alert Level 1:

  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and call your GP or Healthline to see if you need a test.
  • Maintain good hygiene – keep up good hand washing practices, cough and sneeze into your elbow, keep surfaces clean.
  • Face coverings are mandatory on public transport and encouraged when you cannot maintain physical distance from people you do not know, for example in supermarkets.
  • Keep track of where you’ve been and who you've seen - workplaces must display the NZ COVID Tracer QR code poster to help visitors keep track of where they’ve been.
  • Keep your distance – even for those who are at Alert Level 1 it’s still worthwhile keeping a safe distance from people you don’t know while out and about.

Special leave: For employees who test positive for COVID-19, or who are identified as a contact of a COVID-19 case and required by public health advice to self-isolate (and cannot work from home) special leave should be provided while they are self-isolating.

Be prepared. The risk of further cases of COVID-19 remains. Agencies need to ensure their plans enable a quick response should there be any raising of the alert level in the future.

See further details for Alert Level 1.

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