Guidance will ensure vulnerable NZers are supported by employers to stay safe

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Green Party welcome released government guidance for vulnerable people at Alert Level 3 that will ensure they are supported by their employers to either stay home or safely return to work.

“The guidelines released today acknowledge that different vulnerable New Zealanders have diverse circumstances, and that their employers may need guidance to protect workers’ rights and wellbeing”, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today.

“We know some employers may be making elderly employees stay home despite it being safe for them to return to work.

“On the inverse, those that are less obviously vulnerable, for instance the immune-suppressed, may be coerced into coming to work by their employer despite it being unsafe to do so.

“Combatting that pressure on vulnerable workers was a focus for me on behalf of the Green Party when working with Minister Martin on these guidelines.

“These guidelines mean regardless of your vulnerability, whether it old age or a suppressed immunity, there is clear direction that supports you to either go back to work, work from home, or take time off work, with Government support.

“I’m glad to have worked with Minister Martin to see guidance for less visible New Zealanders so they too are supported to stay safe by their employer.

“Being told you must go into work because your employer doesn’t properly understand the risks can be embarrassing and stressful.

“Hopefully these guidelines will give peace of mind to New Zealanders.

“The Greens will continue to raise the voices of vulnerable and marginalised New Zealanders and will work with our government partners to ensure they’re heard and supported during this pandemic”.

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