Employment ContractsPublic HolidaysRedundancyNZ family walking out of their home during a flood. NZ flag in the back ground

There is support for employees in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle.

These are challenging times on a professional and a personal level, and we must look after ourselves and each other.

If you need free HR or legal advice to safeguard your job at this difficult time – we are here to help. Here is a list of information you may need in the coming weeks. 

1. What government support is there for my me?

Civil Defence Payment is available for those employees who can’t go to work and have lost their income because:

  • you don’t have transport to get to work.
  • your workplace is closed.
  • you need to stay with their family or whānau, or
  • you are self-employed and have lost income because you can’t work.

How much money you are entitled to on whether you’re staying in a hotel, a motel or in a hosted or billeted accommodation, like friends or family. You can apply online or phone 0800 400 100; Civil Defence is open between 7.00 am–5.00 pm.

2. Banks

All banks have released emergency financial support for customers. They are allowing flood victims with home loans  to temporarily put their repayments on hold. Ring your bank manager to find out what they have on offer. 

3. How do I manage my pay and leave if I’m not working after a natural disaster?

Your employer needs to apply common sense and act in good faith. They need to be honest with you.

If your workplace

  • cannot be accessed, 
  • is closed, 
  • or is open, but you are unable to work during a natural disaster or emergency, 

then you and your employer should refer to your employment agreement, workplace policies and the specific circumstances to determine leave and pay.

Generally, if the situation is not covered under a lawful provision within an employment agreement or workplace policy, an employer must pay an employee who is ready, willing, and able to work even if work is not available through no fault of the employee. 

4. You Ask-We Answer
  1. Can my Employer I change the employment agreement as a result of the natural disaster?

Your employer can only make changes to your employment agreements, like

  • hours of work,
  • wages or salary,
  • make you do tasks unrelated to your job

…if they fully consult you!

The Employer must  act in good faith, and employees must agree with the changes.

 All changes to an employment agreement must be made in writing and agreed upon between both parties.

  • Can employers make their staff redundant as a result of a natural disaster?

An employer should consider other alternatives first. Restructuring and Redundancy should be the last option and only be considered if there are no suitable alternative arrangements.

  • What are reasons for restructuring?

In some situations, an employer may consider restructuring  because they are experiencing issues with;. 

  • Cashflow problems,
  • Reduced Sales,
  • Supply Chain,
  • Access to Worksites
  • Restructuring changes may include:
  • Changes to an employee’s job description, 
  • A change to when or how work is done,
  • Reducing employee’s hours.
5.Please note

All affected employees affected by redundancy must be fully consulted on the restructuring proposal and the employer must fully consider any feedback they provide before making any final decisions. The Good Faith principle is vital, as this is a no-fault dismissal.


References Civil Defence webpage-

Employment NZ webpage-

Auckland Chamber of Commerce- https://aucklandchamber.co.nz/backtowork/

Beehive Government Support-

Stuff – 


Resolve Legal Ltd blogs contain only general information about legal matters. It is not intended to be legal advice and should not be treated as, or relied on, as such. For legal advice specific to your facts, please get in touch with a lawyer appropriate to your legal issue.

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