Friday Feb 03, 2023

Big companies, government departments tell staff to work from home if possible – Stuff.co.nz

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Tens of thousands of workers at New Zealand’s biggest businesses and government departments are being encouraged or told to work from home, if possible, as Omicron spreads through the community.

Under ‘phase two’ of its response to Omicron, the Government is aiming to reduce the amount of disruption caused by spiralling numbers of cases, but retailers, restaurants and other businesses are struggling with a dramatic decline in customers.

Since the start of the pandemic, an increasing number of businesses have moved to either full or partial working from home.

Under the red light setting, most businesses are not required to send employees home but working from home is an option. Close-contact businesses including hairdressers can operate within public health requirements.

READ MORE:
* Working from home: The legal ramifications
* Covid-19: As Omicron cases surge, rapid antigen tests will be used more. Here’s what you need to know
* The true cost of empty offices

Stuff asked a number of big New Zealand employers and large government departments about their current requirements for staff.

Most respondents noted extra health and safety measures for people in workplaces, such as requiring people to be vaccinated and wear masks, contact tracing, extra cleaning, and physical distancing.

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Under the red light setting, most businesses are not required to send employees home.

Here are some of the responses.

Spark

From Thursday all Spark corporate offices will be closed to staff and visitors, except for workers required to be on site.

As not all workers can work from home, those in retail stores, network or security services and the emergency contact centre will remain on site.

In addition to vaccinations, we have also introduced additional health and safety measures including mask wearing in shared spaces, two metre social distancing between desks, contact tracing and rapid antigen testing which is being carried out twice a week on site for teams that are required to be on site.

Monique Ford/Stuff

From Thursday, all Spark corporate offices will be closed to staff and visitors, except for workers required to be on site.

ASB

In line with current recommendations from the New Zealand government, we’re asking our people to work from home wherever practically possible. We will change this guidance as the Government’s traffic light settings change.

Around 80 per cent of ASB’s workforce is now working remotely, with 20 per cent of our team onsite in our branch network or corporate offices maintaining essential operations.

From Monday we are making temporary changes to our branch availability to protect our team and customers and to …….

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/127802157/big-companies-government-departments-tell-staff-to-work-from-home-if-possible

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