New Zealand – Government investing in programmes to keep work safe and fair during pandemic


The New Zealand government announced that it is supporting fair and safe workplaces as more New Zealanders get back to work during its Level 1 alert phase.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said, “We are investing in programmes to ensure employers and employees know their rights and obligations and at the same time we are supporting two new health and safety initiatives that will maintain the momentum to cut work-related harm.”

The programmes will provide: health and safety leadership by industry, health and safety promotion and technical information, and employment services support and a contestable fund.

Lees-Galloway added that the government is establishing the NZD 3 million (USD 1.9 million) contestable fund for business organisations, unions and community providers to ‘access funding for initiatives that support workers and workplaces to manage employment impacts and position themselves for recovery following Covid-19.’

“During Alert Levels 2, 3 and 4, we saw countless examples of businesses, workers and industry organisations stepping up and taking their health and safety responsibilities seriously,” Lees-Galloway said. “This has been critical in slowing the spread of Covid-19.”

“We need to continue to be vigilant,” Lees-Galloway said. “To support ongoing efforts, we are investing in industry-led health and safety leadership groups; a WorkSafe campaign promoting safely getting back to work and providing technical health and safety advice to support businesses.”

Lees-Galloway said health and safety at work continues to be essential during the recovery and rebuild of New Zealand’s economy.

The government added that these initiatives are funded from the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund.