Corona & Childcare

COVID-19 has meant massive social and economic change and almost every family will be affected in some way.

Finding information on the best way to keep your family safe and healthy whilst the bills are paid can be difficult.

Tinies can assist in providing directions for you as a parent or childcarer during this challenging time.

What does Stage 4 lockdown mean for Childcare?

Nannies are still able to care for families of ‘essential workers’ only.

To find out whether you qualify as an essential worker please check the government criteria.

Dear Parents,

We hope you are all coping with the lock down and taking things day by day. It has meant big changes for everybody and we are all wanting to be as informed as possible. We have had a lot of questions about wages, payments, contracts etc and have been working through the information the government has given us in order to get you some answers.

Below are some answers to some of the common questions being asked; For employers the guidelines around isolation come down to the five points below;

1. If an employer is still getting their full income…

the employee should be getting their full income without being asked to access sick pay or holiday pay.

2. If the employers revenue/pay is slightly affected (less than 30%)…

the employer can opt to pay the employee 80% of their wage during the Level 4 lock-down.

3. If the employers pay is affected by 30% or more…

they can access the wage assistance for their employee and (UPDATE: 28/03/20) the entire amount should be paid to the Nanny. There may be the option to re-apply at a later date, should this lock-down continue.

4. In some circumstances employers are opting to ask their employees to take accrued sick leave or holiday pay (in advance or accrued) or even leave without pay.

This is really only acceptable if you are trying to do whatever you can to keep your employee in employment. An employee has every right to say no to taking sick leave and will need 14 days’ notice if the employer decides to initiate an annual close and enforce paid or unpaid holidays. If an employer enforces a close-down, they can’t access the wage assistance.

5. In extreme circumstances, employers may need to let their staff go but this is a complex process and not recommended without seeking professional advice in advance.

Further information you may find useful..

Only essential workers can have their nannies continue to work. NO exceptions. Failure to follow this rule could cost lives.

Here is some information on the rules you need to follow for essential worker childcare.

– If you are an Essential worker and there is someone who is self-isolating or unwell in your household care must not take place.

– In almost all circumstances, employees must be paid for their time off at up to 80% of their normal wage. You shouldn’t cancel a nanny or suspend their wage during this time. As long you plan to keep the nanny employed, and you are expecting a loss of 30% or more to your own revenue/income, you can access the employer wage assistance.

– Here is the link to the Employer Application Form. You don’t need a business number and you can use your own IRD number instead of a business IRD number.

All contractors are able to access the wage subsidy themselves as long as there work has been affected by 30% over the next 3 months. Here is the link to the Self Employed and Contractor Application Form.

If you have a nanny who is a contractor, please let them know they can access;

– Less than 20 hours at $350 per week gross

– 20 hours per week or more $585.80 per week gross

Some clients are asking if they can let their nanny go and end the contract with them?

Whilst you can give notice to a contractor and end the contract, it isn’t ideal or recommended as the government is doing their best to keep everyone with jobs at this time.

An employer is legally obliged to provide work for the employee who is willing and ready to work. In extreme situations you may have enough grounds to let your nanny go, but we recommend you seeking legal advice before doing so. Otherwise employees need to be paid a minimum of 80% of their normal agreed wage.

If you have not found the information you are after here, please check the business related FAQs below. We are also happy to answer any other questions you may have to the best of our knowledge. Email is best form of communication at this stage.

COVID-19 Employment Questions

Many are asking how Stage 4 lock-down will affect them. Here is a compilation of some common questions
Is my business an “essential service” or do I have to lock down?
Must non-essential business shut completely?
What if businesses must shut completely?
If the business shuts and there is no work for employees, can the employer access the government wage subsidy?
Can a employer use the wage subsidy for other business expenses?
Can a business unilaterally reduce employees’ hours of work?
Can a business unilaterally make employees take annual leave?
Can a business unilaterally make my employees take unpaid leave?
What are the obligations to temporary workers and do they qualify for the wage subsidy?
Can an employer apply a force majeure clause in an employment agreement?
Can an employer make employees redundant?
What if an employee contracts Covid-19?
How does the Government sick leave payment scheme fit with employees’ usual sick leave?

These are tough times for everyone and the only way to make this work is to be mindful of the people around you. Please do what you can to keep your nannies earning money over this time. The government is doing all they to keep people earning and we need to pay this forward as much as we can. We are sending a similar message out to all our nannies so everyone is as informed as possible.

Thank you for your patience and please reach out if you need anything. We are here.

Be kind, be fair, be mindful.

What our clients say

I just wanted to let you know that Chrissy was a great hit with our daughter last night. We felt very comfortable leaving the kids in her care and will definitely request her again through you.
Thanks for all your help putting our nanny in place – as you could probably tell it has been a pretty stressful and emotional time for me and you have been so proactive and supportive.
Grace C