The resurgence of COVID-19 in New Zealand is going to raise the issue of your rights at work again, as your employer responds to the changing alert levels. In the “first wave” the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions saw a significant number of employers respond unlawfully in the way they treated their employees.
Here are some of your key rights at work.
Unfortunately, official enforcement capacity remains stretched. And our experiences of the “first wave” show that the enforcement system can become easily overloaded – many issues raised in the “first wave” still haven’t been resolved by the Government or employers.
We still recommend trying to raise issues with the appropriate authorities. If it is specifically a health and safety issue, we recommend contacting WorkSafe here. If it relates to any of your other rights at work, contact the Labour Inspectorate here. And if Covid-19 Alert Levels are being breached – including at a worksite you visit – contact the New Zealand police here.
By completing this survey, you will also help us to resolve problems where we can.
- If there is union representation in your workplace, we will pass details of your issue on to the relevant union to see if other members are experiencing similar issues and if there is anything they can do to help.
- Where a large number of survey responses identify a particular employer, we may follow up directly with the employer and with regulators. (But we won’t provide the personal details of people who raised the issue, unless we have your express permission to do so.)
- Where we identify a pattern of unlawful behaviour – either within a sector or across the workforce as a whole – we may raise the matter directly with the Minister of Workplace Relations and other government officials to seek a wider solution.
- We will consider passing on information about your case to WorkSafe or the Labour Inspectorate, where we think they can help resolve the matter.
- Statistical information and examples may be used to help us to campaign publicly. We may use information from your survey response anonymously in our public campaigning, but we will always seek your consent before using any information in a way that may identify you.