Here are some answers to those fundamental questions of what you can and can’t do with staff during lockdown, and some reminders on all things COVID related.
These are all real-life examples of questions we have been asked (some details changed to prevent identification).
WHAT WOULD YOU DO - IF ASKED THE FOLLOWING?
He is absent without authority. If you have work for him, and at level 3 he could carry out that work then he is not entitled to be paid. You could consider whether to pay him annual leave but that is something you both need to agree on. Air NZ is operating a limited schedule so advise your employee of this, emphasising his requirement to get himself back to work without delay.
Possibly. An employer and employee must first try to agree when annual leave is to be taken. So the first step is talk to your employees and ask them if they would take annual leave. If you can’t reach agreement then an employer can require an employee to take annual leave providing they give a minimum of 14 days’ notice. You can only require leave entitlement to be taken, not accrued leave.
No, he isn’t on annual leave, unless that is something you agreed to beforehand. He is absent without authority. As he is not available for work, and isn’t meeting his good faith requirements to be communicative and responsive, then you could potentially not pay him for this period. In your written communication to him, state this is what you are considering and remind him of his obligation to be available. You could both subsequently agree to consider the period annual leave and pay him as such. I would also consider whether initiating a disciplinary investigation could be appropriate.
If the employee was sick, they are entitled to be paid sick leave. I would suggest asking for a medical certificate, and certainly a medical clearance or negative COVID-19 test depending on the symptoms they say they had.
Yes they can take the three days bereavement leave (if it was parents, child, partner or spouse, grandparents, grandchildren, brother, sister and parents-in-law). The legislation does not determine how the employee must spend the bereavement leave and therefore there is no obligation to attend a funeral to be entitled to the leave.