Members of the NZTBA and industry participants,It is imperative you are familiar with the NZ government website which is updated regularly Government Covid 19 We are in unprecedented territory because of Coronavirus. It is time to make sure you have considered the implications as we move to Alert Level 4 and the impact imposed restrictions from the Government will have on our day to day operations. You URGENTLY need to have plans in place and to have briefed your staff and clients. We are working with other industry organisations to get clarification of the essential services that we will need to continue to keep both our people and horses welfare at the forefront. NZTR have announced racing will cease for the next four weeks and we will also be closely working with them to ensure our necessary day to day operations can continue as best we can, making sure our Government is aware of our industry requirements to do so.We must make sure we adhere to guidelines to ensure we can with the rest of New Zealand halt Covid-19 or at least get ahead for the long term benefit. We will provide information on this as soon as we are able to as we are aware meaning of you are, or are heading into weaning. The South Island Sale has been postponed until August and New Zealand Bloodstock are looking at the May Sale and its viability. The following information is an updated summary on Coronavirus (COVID-19). The NZTBA will be regularly reviewing the information provided and will endeavor to update you frequently as the alert levels and restrictions change. Our website is a useful resource to keep updated and you can view this page here. We will be working with other industry bodies and watching international developments and the impacts restrictions have had on them to date. We are also keeping in touch with our Irish National Stud Students in Ireland. At this stage they are wanting to remain in Ireland and have been giving us some great information about the running of a stud farm under lockdown. You can read Laura and Hannah’s views here. For information around contact tracing, including what constitutes ‘close contact’ and ‘casual contact’, please see the Ministry of Health guidance at this link. Business support package – employment implications. The Government announced a business support package on 17 March and will provide an updated version over the next 48 hours. For information on the implications of this support package for farmers, please see the information page at this link. We encourage you to see further expert advice from your accountant. Managing staff to
prevent the introduction & spread of COVID-19
Always have good hygiene practice and consider how you can minimise contact
between staff and have them keep the advised distance apart of 2m.
– Minimise the number of immediate contacts each staff member has in their day:
Can you split your staff into
teams and make sure the intermingling of members of each team is reduced?Can you
eliminate face-to-face meetings?Identify staff/roles that can
work from homeAsk employees to avoid
congregating in areas around the workplace– Introduce staff working in a shift system:
No overlapping shifts where
possibleHave clear boundaries of staff
movements at the beginning and end of each shiftIncrease the time separation
between shifts Increase the time allowed for cleaning common areas and facilities
What is “isolation” in a farming context? This covered in a summary of responses to questions we have received to date at this link: You need to limit your contact with people other than the family members/companions you live with. You should avoid having visitors to your home, but it is okay for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food and supplies if you don’t come into contact with them. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, pillows or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water, place them in the dishwasher for cleaning or wash them in your washing machine. Restrictions to property access
Property owners and managers need to implement strict yet practical requirements for outside entities accessing the property.
No entry for non-essential visitorsAll essential visitors to confirm they have not been overseas over the last 14 days or been in close contact with someone that has been overseas in the last 14 days.Consider what services might be disrupted and develop a contingency plan.Limit exposure of outside service providers such as vets, farriers, to internal staff If essential suppliers or transport do come to the property, where possible have the driver remain in the vehicle and have internal staff handle the stock or supplies.
Employment guidance This can be a confusing and uncertain time for employers and employees. There is a summary frequently asked questions at this link. We appreciate breeders will be seeking specific, practical information. We have provided this where possible. As employers have health and safety, employment and contractual responsibilities that vary, in some instances we can only provide broad advice. We will continue to refine this advice where we can. Broadly, you should – Ensure you meet your obligations under the HSWA to mitigate health and safety risks and protect their workers from them, so far as is reasonably practicable. – Develop a plan with your employees for likely scenarios in respect to COVID-19 in your workplace. Employers must take seriously and manage the health risks to workers and other people affected in the workplace and treat employees in good faith. Employers should plan ahead and work with workers and unions for likely scenarios of COVID-19. A summary of guidance from Employment NZ: – Responsibilities of employers regarding COVID-19, including not allowing them to work when sick or required to self-isolate. – Employers and workers should consider whether working from home on normal pay is practicable. – If an employer requires an employee not to come to a workplace, an employee should be paid. This can include paid sick leave (and anticipated sick leave) or paid special leave. – If an employee, who is required to self-isolate can’t practicably work from home, then special paid leave should be considered. The COVID-19 Leave Payment Scheme is available to support employers to pay employees where an employee is required to self-isolate and can’t practically work from home Federated Farmers also offer some excellent guidance on this scheme on the Coronavirus information page by clicking here. – Where a worker is intending to go overseas has not yet left New Zealand, but intends to do so, an employer may advise the worker that if they cannot agree how to manage the (current) self-isolation period, then this will become unpaid leave. An employer may decline a new leave request for business reasons, where it is reasonable to do so. Employment New Zealand have provided guidance for the responsibilities of employers here. WorkSafe is providing information from a HSWA perspective at this link. Stay up to date around the responsibilities and requirements relating to employees (or others) returning from overseas at this link. Self-care
It is normal to feel stressed or anxious in these situations. The thoroughbred industry is known for being a close-knit industry and now is the time to support each other more than ever. Phone your friends, neighbours and family and ask how they are going. Rather than add to the rising panic of the situation talk about practical solutions and support each other where you can safely.
For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, call or text the free ‘Need to talk?’ service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1737 and talk things through with a trained counsellor.
This is an evolving situation and one without precedent. We will keep you as updated as we can and provide as much support and help as possible.If you have any specific questions or advice to share to other breeders please don’t hesitate to email Justine at email@example.com Tough times are head but by pulling together and circulating accurate information we will be able to prepare and adapt as best we can.