“Decisions on how best to support staff are ultimately the responsibility of the Chief Executive, however after canvassing the issues and current policies with a number of different agencies the Commission would support agencies taking an immediate decision to offer Christchurch employees who are directly affected by the earthquake, are not directly involved in the recovery work by virtue of their employment, and who are unable to work either in your office or at home:
– up to 15 days paid Special Leave.
– EAP or equivalent support or counselling for all your employees
Our view is that these two actions will remove the immediate need for ex-gratia (or similar) cash payments to or on behalf of staff.”
NUPE Comment – This advice only applies in the Government sector, although the principles should fit employers across the board. This special leave provision of up to 15 days is a fair initial response but NUPE will be contacting individual employers to discuss their response and deal with issues as particular situations arise. For members outside the State sector, we wait to see what the government puts in place for all private sector workers. We will be talking to individual agencies and looking for similar support for those members (mainly in the NGO and Health) with their state sector workers.