Water Crisis in New Plymouth - Advice

If you have to close your business due to the water crisis in New Plymouth (or choose to because you cannot reasonably supply clean drinking water) then you should pay staff and claim business interruption insurance where you can.

If the Employment Agreement contains a Force Majeure clause then employees may not have to be paid, however you should seek advice about this.

Employees seeking to have leave to look after school children because schools are closed can be paid as follows:

• If no provision in an employment agreement – annual leave or unpaid leave (although we do strongly recommend employers consider that this could be special paid leave due to the unique circumstances)

Employees who consider it unsafe to attend work should be paid if that concern is reasonable (i.e. the employer is unable to provide clean drinking water or the work place becomes unsanitary due not being able to flush toilets). Employees should be in contact with their employer and discuss this before making a decision to not come to work.

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