COVID-19: Unscrupulous employers exploiting crisis

TheCouncil of Trade Unions is deeply concerned with reports of some employersbehaving badly during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Workingpeople expect to be treated fairly at all times and especially in times ofcrisis. Some employers are behaving badly, others are quite frankly behavingunlawfully, CTU President, Richard Wagstaff said.

“Affiliatesare reporting a wide range of bad behaviour from some employers. Includingemployers compelling staff to use sick leave or annual leave to cover the level4 isolation period. This not only breaches MBIE advice but is also in violationof the law, such decisions about annual leave need to be made in consultation.Sick leave must only be used when someone, or their dependant, is sick.”

“Weare hearing reports that some employers are not acting in good faith whenaccessing wage subsidies supplied by the government. When an employer does sothey are expected to, with best endeavours pay 80% of that person’ssalary/wages for 80% work. Employers who are taking tax payers money in a timeof crisis have a moral obligation to not then use it to line their ownpockets.”

“Employersmust focus on playing their part – they must demonstrate a greater level ofcompassion and they certainly must adhere to the law.”

“Itis also shocking that some employers are behaving opportunistically andself-proclaiming their business as an essential service. This type of behaviourmakes a mockery of the serious situation we face.”

“Itis important to note that most employers are following the law – most employersare doing the right thing and listening to the clear guidance of thegovernment, MBIE, and Business New Zealand group” Wagstaff said.

/Public Release. View in full here.