COVID-19 Guidance for Employers

The team at Kiely Thompson Caisley are committed to ensuring employers and employees are kept up to date with accurate and timely COVID-19 advice. This page provides useful insights and helpful resources to guide you through this unprecedented period.

We continue to monitor the ongoing situation and will update this page as the circumstances evolve.


Last updated: 3 September 2020


Our Publications 


COVID-19: The Resurgence Wage Subsidy Scheme

Following a "second wave" of COVID-19 community transmission, Alert Level 3 restrictions were put in place for Auckland and Alert Level 2 restrictions to the rest of New Zealand until at least 30 August.  The Government also announced the Resurgence Wage Subsidy designed to support businesses during this time.  Read more. 


Covid-19 Crisis Management in New Zealand is a success story, but how are businesses facing the ongoing challenges?

New Zealand has earned a positive reputation globally for its success to date in managing the COVID-19 health crisis. A combination of quick and decisive action, tightly controlled borders, clear communication from the country’s political and health leaders, and a generally compliant population has put it in the enviable position of virtually eliminating the virus, for now. Read more. 


Life after ‘Level 4’ Lockdown: Preparing for Long-term Changes in the Way we Work

The COVID-19 ‘Alert Level 4’ lockdown in New Zealand, and similar measures globally, have presented many challenges for workers and businesses. Along with those challenges, however, we are starting to see opportunities.  Read more. 


ADLS: Being an employer during COVID-19 Alert Level 4

During this period of major disruption, many firms and organisations are grappling with providing their clients with current advice in relation to the rapidly changing legal position on COVID-19 measures.  On top of client demands, the industry is also having to deal with their entire workforce working remotely (if possible).  Read more. 


COVID-19 - The Health and Safety Basics 

With COVID-19 creating widespread issues for employers, it can be helpful to consider what employers’ and others’ key obligations are under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. While it is common knowledge that as a result of this virus workplace health and safety obligations come into play and need to be complied with, it is helpful to look at what exactly these obligations are. Read more. 


Ius Laboris: Employers and the novel coronavirus 

With New Zealand confirming its first case of the novel coronavirus (officially named ‘COVID-19’) on 28 February, many employers will want to know what their legal obligations are when managing issues relating to the virus in the workplace. These obligations can create many practical challenges, such as whether employers can require employees to stay away from work and whether employees are entitled (or ought) to be paid in such circumstances. Read more. 



Podcast & Webinar Series on


COVID-19 Webinar Recording: Reorganising your workforce effectively 

During these uncertain times, many employers need to increase their business efficiency. Often, this will involve re-organising or restructuring workforces in innovative ways. To minimise risk during these processes, it is vital that employers understand their core obligations and follow a fair process. Click here to watch. 

In this recorded webinar, our panellists discuss some common pitfalls and provide practical tips to help employers navigate the issues.

  • Best Practice steps in restructuring processes

  • How to navigate some common challenges involved in a restructuring

  • Alternatives to redundancy (including alternative work structures)

  • The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on workforce reorganisations

  • The wage subsidy and its implications for restructuring

  • Immigration and visa issues

COVID-19 Webinar Recording: Planning for Uncertainty: Critical Issues for Employers in 2020

During COVID-19, employers are facing a difficult task in trying to plan for extraordinary circumstances. What should employers do to prepare themselves for the coming months? How can employers manage their risk? Click here to watch. 

Our webinar explores:

  • Best Practice COVID-19 responses for employers;

  • Insights into the government wage subsidy

  • Innovative solutions to deal with surplus employees during a decline in business 

  • Navigating the workforce issues around border closures and foreign workers

  • Considerations for looking ahead to the “new normal”


Podcast 2: Coronavirus: Force Majeure, Frustration and Business Disruption in Employment Agreements

Covid-19 is having a severe economic impact and employers are exploring options for reducing costs to ride out the downturn. Hear Scott Worthy and Laura Chapman, Senior Associates from boutique employment law firm Kiely Thompson Caisley discuss some frequently asked questions about “Force Majeure” situations, frustration of employment agreements and clauses dealing with business disruption. Click here to listen. 


Podcast 1: Coronavirus Advice for New Zealand Employers

2020 is shaping up to be a significant year for employment law in New Zealand. COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on Kiwi businesses. Hear Executive Partner Simon Lapthorne and Senior Associate Laura Chapman from specialist employment law firm Kiely Thompson Caisley discuss practical issues and essential advice for employers during COVID-19. Click here to listen. 


Useful Resources


There are a number of resourceful links we recommend viewing for guidance on managing your business during COVID-19. 

New Zealand Government COVID-19 Information

Inland Revenue

The Ministry of Health 

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)