Travelling within a bubble

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Employees heading over to Australia or the Cook Islands on Holiday

Let your employees know when they are on annual leave, it is their responsibility to stay safe. It is good to remind them that they will have to cover the cost should they need to go into managed isolation. Work together to have a plan in place if there is a disruption in the bubble. Consider whether they can work remotely and if so how this can be achieved. Look at other points you may need to consider here.

If an employee is unable to return from holiday after their agreed annual leave, you cannot automatically dismiss them. You have to act in good faith and follow a fair and proper process, more information can be found here.

Business trips to Australia or the Cook Islands

If you need to send an employee on a business trip to Australia or the Cook Islands, you need to make sure they are comfortable with this and don’t feel pressured. Providing PPE like face masks for the length of their travel is a good idea if possible.

Remember when your employees are on a business trip, you have an obligation to pay:

  • over and above any expenses incurred for business–related purposes, like meals and accommodation, you’ll have to cover any costs caused by the trip becoming longer than expected because of COVID-19
  • costs if they have to go into managed isolation due to a disruption in the bubble
  • their normal pay as per their employment agreement if they become stuck overseas during a business trip and can’t work remotely
  • other types of leave if they get COVID-19 during the business trip and run out of sick leave

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