The airline’s Special Assistance Team (SAT) is made up of several hundred volunteers from throughout the airline and plays a vital part of Air New Zealand’s response to an emergency event. The team was most recently deployed to offer assistance following the White Island tragedy in December.
The airline is also supporting its staff through its dedicated Wellbeing Hub. The Wellbeing Hub provides information on financial support, managing anxiety, tips for self-isolation, working remotely, and protection from COVID-19. Staff are also able to access the airline’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which is an independent, professional support service that is available to all employees and their immediate family 24/7.
A digital Wellbeing Check-In tool has also been developed. This sends a notification to all employees, asking about their health and wellbeing and giving them the opportunity to request a wellbeing check-in from the airline’s Wellbeing team or their manager.
Air New Zealand General Manager People Safety and Aviation Medicine Darren Evans says this is no doubt a challenging time for everyone at Air New Zealand.
“To support Air New Zealanders during Alert Level 4, we have mobilised SAT members to provide welfare support to Air New Zealanders who are unwell or self-isolating without support or access to basic needs. This support means regular check-ins and delivering essential groceries or picking up medical supplies/prescriptions when required.
“COVID-19 has caused massive social change and sees us in an environment of uncertainty and disrupted daily routines. This will naturally have a big impact on our physical and mental health, so we’ve deployed a range of tools for our staff to access to help navigate the unsettling and uncertain times we are facing right now.”
Air New Zealand is also in the process of setting up the Āwhina Trust with the support of its union partners for the benefit of employees who are significantly impacted by COVID-19 and who are, or will be, struggling to manage day-to-day finances.
This fund includes money donated by Board members and the Executive as well as any payroll or leave donations made by Senior Leadership Team members. One-off grants will be made to the value of $750, depending on the need.