November 15, 2020

COVID-19 Information for businesses - Government information, how it may affect your business and how to stay up to date on information.

Latest updates


Border changes

On Saturday 14 March 2020 it was announced that we are stepping up protective measures to keep individuals, families and our communities safe and healthy in the current global environment through upgraded border control measures.

Changes have been made to border measures. Details of these can be found on the Health website and Immigration's website.

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) – Countries and areas of concern (external link) - Ministry of Health

Coronavirus update: INZ's response (external link) - Immigration New Zealand

Support for impacted business

These new border controls are based on the precautionary principle to slow the spread of the virus – and they are vital to helping us to contain COVID-19. But there will be a significant impact on people wanting to come to New Zealand, for Kiwi’s looking to return to New Zealand, and businesses who rely on an open border.

A business continuity package will be announced next week.

Exporters and importers

If you are an exporter or importer, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has set up a page on their website which brings together information from NZTE, the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Customs. Information on the page is reviewed daily. It also includes contact details for the relevant agencies for you to get in touch with depending on your situation.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Information for exporters (external link) — New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

If you are an exporter with a specific concern you'd like to discuss, NZTE has opened up access to a panel of external experts. If you are not already working with NZTE, you can call 0800 555 888.

Tax and cashflow

If you are having difficulties or concerns about meeting your normal tax obligations due to the effects of COVID-19, Inland Revenue has a range of ways to help depending on your circumstances.

Tax relief – COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) (external link) — Inland Revenue

Get in contact with your bank if you’re experiencing cashflow issues, especially in regards to loans repayments or lack of funding. They might be able to help or put you in touch with someone who can.

Banking sector prepared for responding to COVID-19 (external link) — New Zealand Bankers Association

Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

To ensure the long-term sustainability of your business, you should have a Business Continuity Pllan (BCP) for events like COVID-19. A BCP can help your business prepare for many kinds of emergencies, such as a global pandemic, an act of terrorism, a cyberattack, or a natural disaster like a fire, flood or earthquake.

Continuity and contingency planning

Employers

If you have employees, Employment New Zealand has specific guidance in response to COVID-19 including how to handle self-isolation and sick leave.

Workplace response to coronavirus (external link) — Employment New Zealand

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the workplace (external link) — Employment New Zealand

If you have questions about handling information about an employee that isn’t well, including if there is a serious threat to someone’s safety, wellbeing or health, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner has guidance to help.

Is it okay to tell other employees that a colleague is sick? (external link) — The Office of the Privacy Commissioner

When can I use the serious threat exception? (external link) — The Office of the Privacy Commissioner

If you're considering reducing people's hours or redundancies due to COVID-19, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has support and advice.

Coronavirus: Redundancy information for employers [PDF 114KB] (external link) — Work and Income

Travel

Immigration New Zealand has information for travellers, visa holders (including students), cruise ships and maritime vessels.

Coronavirus update: INZ’s response (external link) — Immigration New Zealand

If you’re a New Zealander living and traveling abroad, SafeTravel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has information to assist.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) (external link) — SafeTravel (MFAT)

If your travel plans are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, Consumer Protection has guidance about cancelled or delayed flights and travel bookings.

Coronavirus – Are your travel plans affected? (external link) — Consumer Protection

If you run a travel business, Tourism New Zealand has information available.

COVID-19 – Information for industry (external link) — Tourism New Zealand

Tourism New Zealand has also released activity plans to support the tourism industry for the short to medium term.

Tourism New Zealand supports economic recovery from COVID-19 (external link) — Tourism New Zealand

Health and safety

If you have health concerns, information and advice about COVID-19 is available from the Ministry of Health.

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) (external link) — Ministry of Health

Healthline has a free dedicated phone number for health advice and information about COVID-19, including registering self-isolation. You can call 0800 358 5453, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Access to interpreters is also available. For international SIMS, call +64 9 358 5453.

WorkSafe New Zealand has information about the business and worker requirement for keeping people safe and well in the workplace, as well as guidance about personal protective equipment (PPE).

Workplace preparedness for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) (external link) — WorkSafe New Zealand

Landlords and tenants

If you’re a landlord or tenant of a rental property affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, Tenancy Services has information about your rights and responsibilities. They also have guidance and next steps if you are experiencing discrimination.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – what landlords and tenants need to know (external link) — Tenancy Services

Education

If you are a childcare centre, work in education or are the parent, caregiver and whānau of learners, guidance is available from the Ministry of Education.

COVID-19 (external link) — Ministry of Education

All of Government

For further government information about COVID-19 including health advice and travel restrictions, check out the Govt.nz website.

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) (external link) — Govt.nz

Contributors

This article is in association with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand Customs, Inland Revenue, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, New Zealand Bankers Association, Immigration New Zealand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Consumer Protection, Tourism New Zealand, Employment New Zealand, Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Health, WorkSafe New Zealand, Tenancy Services, Ministry of Education, and Department of Internal Affairs.