Covid-19 – Leave support and Stat Days clarified

Monday 6 April 2020

Leave Payment Support for Essential Businesses - Higher risk clarified

Stat Holidays – Grant Robertson says

Contacting MSD

Registering for essential non-food consumer products

Handling annual leave cancellations

Maintaining my own mental health!


Essential HR here to help – and working from home. For ongoing help, you can contact Mike on 027 2808546 or or Beccy on or 027 2909070 – and if you phone our landline 03 6590377 you can leave a message that gets delivered to us automatically.  Please bear with us if you can’t get straight through – we are getting many calls!  I’m happy for you to pass this on to others.

If you need to conference call, we are all set up with Zoom.


Leave Payment Support for Essential Businesses – “Higher Risk”

On Friday we learnt of the support now available. The higher risk category of people who should not be working and for whom the leave subsidy can be claimed are set out at


Stat Holidays – treatment advised by Grant Robertson (non-essential services at home not working)

I asked how these should be treated: Grant has replied to my message with the following:

“This would need to be something discussed between employers and employees. Employers under the wage subsidy have agreed to make every effort to pay at least 80%”.

Thank you, Grant!  This means that an employer should be paying staff for a stat day the same as they would for a non-stat day – namely if they are topping up to 100% then you pay the stat day in full; topping up to 80% pay the stat day at 80%; just paying the subsidy – that is all they would be paid.  It boils down to the legal position being to pay for a stat day what you would have been paid had it been a normal working day.


Contacting MSD

Due to the overloading of the MSD Employer line 0800 40 80 40, please do not phone this line currently. Employers can now email the local Rapid Response Team at MSD Canterbury who can immediately escalate the enquiry to a contact in MSD National. Email:


Registering for essential non-food items supply


Handling annual leave cancellations

I have had a few questions around this point – annual leave booked before lockdown where the employee wishes now to cancel.  It is logical – they can no longer go away!  Just as leave has to be approved, so does cancellation.  But it would be a very hard-nosed employer who would refuse to cancel unless they have already incurred cost to replace (e.g. with essential services.

Main guidance here is – talk to your staff and see what you can work out between you.


Maintaining My Sanity

I have decided that I need to protect myself and not overdo things!  So, for the next three weeks I will operate between 7:30am and 4:00pm Monday to Friday (or by appointment) except for those of you who are essential services, who can access me when needed.


Keep well everyone

Need help managing staff?

Mike has a wealth of experience advising on every aspect of the employer-employee relationship. I can give you per-phone guidance or work along side you to make things happen.

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