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BusinessNZ, CTU urge firms to protect jobs during pandemic

26 Mar 2020  By Staff Reporter | | @tourismticker

BusinessNZ and the Council of Trade Unions have jointly urged all New Zealand businesses to combat the spread of Covid-19 and also maintain as many jobs as possible.

“Good employers are working hard to support their staff through these very challenging times and ensuring they do all they can to protect jobs and stay connected during the lock-down,” said BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope.

Kirk Hope

“That means taking up the Government’s support packages to enable staff to take sick leave, isolate, work from home if they can, and stopping business operations if they are not an essential service.”

CTU president Richard Wagstaff said businesses and workers would get through the lockdown but it would require everyone to pull together.

“The Government doing its bit with wage subsidies, loan assistance and sick leave support. Working people are doing their bit through providing essential services and staying home,” said Wagstaff.

“Good employers are doing their bit by keeping operations going, supporting staff, and working on strategies so staff can stay employed. And we are all trying to stay connected.”

Wagstaff said while most employers were following the law when it came to treating staff, some were behaving poorly by “not acting in good faith when accessing wage subsidies” supplied by the Government.

“When an employer does so they are expected to, with best endeavours pay 80% of that person’s salary/wages for 80% work. Employers who are taking taxpayer money in a time of crisis have a moral obligation to not then use it to line their own pockets.”

Wagstaff urged employers to follow the law and show compassion for workers during this difficult time.


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