COVID-19: Community Public Service

The pandemic has changed business as usual. Over the last weeks we have been actively working through options with employers and central agencies to ensure that you are supported and that we can keep public and community services working for New Zealanders at this difficult time.

For PSA-wide updates, please refer to the previous page: 
Return to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

 

 See the table below for all Community Public Service newsletters.

Date Sent Subject Line
 30 March  Urgent Update on PPE Issues
 29 March  PSA media release on PPE
 27 March  Update for support workers working in health re PPE
 25 March   Member Update for Community Public Services
 18 March  Member Update: Coronavirus

Click here to see all full-membership newsletters.

We have written to your employer making it clear that our expectation is that they will provide you with paid leave if you have to take time off work if you are ill, self-isolating or caring for dependents in those situations. This would not only keep you, your family and clients safe and healthy but will help everyone by slowing the spread of the virus.

  • If your employer does not pay you for leave, the Government has a Covid-19 leave payment scheme for employers and you can ask that they use this to pay you. This is a payment of $585.80 per week for full timers and $350 per week for those working less than 20 hours.
  • For members who employed by labour hire companies/agencies , the organisation where your work is based has health and safety responsibilities for you and we expect that they meet these responsibilities including continuing to pay you if you need to be off work due to sickness, self-isolation or caring for dependents in these situations.
  • For members who are contractors , the organisation where your work is based has health and safety responsibilities for you and we expect that they meet these responsibilities. As a self-employed person you may be able to access the Government’s Covid-19 leave payment scheme This is a payment of $585.80 per week for full timers and $350 per week for those working less than 20 hours.

For assistance you can contact us on 0508367772 or enquiries@psa.org.nz.

Support available from the Government in addition to the Covid leave payment scheme

Yesterday, as part of a package of support, the Government announced changes to the Winter Energy Payment and the In Work Tax Credit that may assist some people:

  • The Winter Energy Payment will start on 1 May 2020 and be paid at double the current rate for 2020 only. The rates for 2020 will be $40.91 per week (single people) and $63.64 per week (couples or people with dependents).
  • From 1 July 2020, working families will no longer need to be “normally” working at least 20 hours a week (sole parents) or 30 hours a week (couples with children) to be eligible for the IWTC.
  • More information is available here

Because this is a declared pandemic, it is a health and safety issue for many workers. PSA organisers and meeting with employers to consult on establishing workplace safety controls that will assist you manage safety at work. We will continue to do this and you are encouraged to do this locally with your delegates, Health and Safety Reps, and management through the mechanisms available under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

Prevention is of course preferable, so you are advised to follow Ministry of Health guidance for infection control and social isolation, as well as systematic cleaning of surfaces. You should be practicing good infection control, such as washing your hands in between clients.

Yesterday's funding announcement included urgent health spending allocated towards personal protective equipment (PPE). This should be being supplied to you.

If you are concerned that your employer is not following appropriate Health and Safety measures, on workplace prevention, social distancing, travel warnings and/or isolation measures please contact your site delegates/ Health and Safety reps and your employer. In the event that you require urgent advice/support please contact the PSA on 0508367772 or enquiries@psa.org.nz.

The table below summarises the minimum leave provisions you can expect regardless of whether you are a contractor, temporary worker, or permanent employee, as laid out in the Government’s COVID-19 Leave Payment Scheme. The following provisions are based on current circumstances, and may be subject to change.

If this is not the case in your workplace please contact us on 0508367772 or enquiries@psa.org.nz

Situation

Paid sick leave

Paid domestic leave

Annual leave

Special Leave

Other options that may apply

You are self isolating for 14 days, as agreed with your employer, because you may have been exposed to Covid-19

     

Yes

If you can work from home then you would be on normal pay.

You are self isolating for 14 days, as agreed with your employer, because you have returned from an overseas work trip

     

Yes

If you can work from home then you would be on normal pay.

You are self isolating for 14 days because you departed before 15 March for overseas for private travel

     

Yes

If you can work from home then you would be on normal pay.

You are self isolating for 14 days because you departed after 15 March for private travel

   

Yes

 

If you can work from home then you would be on normal pay. Please discuss with your manager which leave applies may depend on the purpose of your private travel.

You are ill

Yes

   

Yes*

 

* In the event that you are sick, you will be paid from your sick leave balance. In the case that your sick leave balance is exhausted and you are still sick, you will be entitled to discretionary (Special) leave.

If you are ill, please stay home. This is important so that your colleagues stay healthy but also for public health - so that the virus does not spread. If you have the symptoms of Covid-19, or have come into contact with someone who may have Covid-19 please call the special Healthline 0800 358 5453 or your doctor immediately. The Ministry of Health website has the best and most reliable information about what is happening with Covid-19.