Employer contributions to an employee’s wellbeing

In light of the Government’s announcement of a $1.9 billion Wellbeing Budget, it is worth considering what steps employers should take to protect and promote an employee’s wellbeing in the workplace.

Employers should consider their obligations with respect to:

  • Providing a healthy and safe workplace which ensures, as far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of its workers (health includes mental and physical health).
    • For more information on whether your rosters are a health and safety risk see our article here 
    • For more information on employee’s mental wellbeing and fatigue see our article here 
  • Considering agreeing to flexible working arrangements for an employee pursuant to the Employment Relations Act 2000 (Act). Employees are entitled to these if they meet the requirements outlined in section 69AAC of the Act. Under the Act “working arrangements” includes:
    • Hours of work;
    • Days of work; and
    • Place of work (for example, at home or at the employee’s place of work).
  • Up to 10 days paid domestic violence leave per year pursuant to the Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Act 2018; and
  • Providing sufficient annual leave, sick leave and bereavement leave pursuant to the Holidays Act 2003.

Other options which employers may wish to consider in order to promote employee’s wellbeing, although they are not legally obligated to offer, are:

  • Establishing or reiterating clear and accessible reporting lines and processes within the business to allow employees to openly discuss any issues they are experiencing at work.
  • Placing all employees on or above the Living Wage which is the “income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life”. This was assessed for 2019 at $21.15;
  • Access to Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP). This is particularly important when making a decision that may adversely effect an employee’s employment.
  • Regular team building activities. This gives employees the opportunity to get to know their colleagues in a more social setting, which builds greater team unity and team work.

Workplace Law team

If you have any queries in respect of the above, or any other Workplace Law issues, please contact a member of Lane Neave’s Workplace Law team:

Employment: Andrew Shaw, Fiona McMillan, Gwen DrewittMaria Green,  Hannah Martin, Joseph HarropHolly StruckmanAlex Beal, Giuliana Petronelli, Abby Shieh
Immigration: Mark Williams, Rachael Mason, Daniel Kruger, Nicky Robertson, Julia StrickettKen Huang, Mary Zhou, Shi Sheng Cai (Shoosh)Sarah Kirkwood, Janeske SchutteLingbo Yu
ACC: Andrew Shaw
Health and Safety: Andrew ShawFiona McMillan

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