Do you have staff travelling in the trans-Tasman bubble?

With the trans-Tasman bubble recently opened between New Zealand and Australia, here’s what you can and can’t do when your staff travels.

What happens if my employee gets stuck travelling overseas?

You may have seen in the media last week controversial opinion that if an employee is stuck overseas due to Government instruction, that the employee could face potential termination of employment. This message was then faced with opposing legal opinion advising employers that terminating employment was not recommended and would likely not hold up in Employment Court.

So what should I do if my employee is stuck overseas?

If your employee has been granted leave to travel overseas and becomes stuck for reasons outside of their control, the first action to take would be to agree to the use of any further paid leave the employee has owing. Once any leave is exhausted, unpaid leave would be used until the employee was able to return home.

Can I require my employee to have a COVID test when they return from overseas?

You cannot enforce your employee to have a COVID test. You can discuss your concerns and ask them to have a test, but if they decline it cannot be enforced. If you have concerns, we recommend you ask your employee to phone Healthline and discuss the situation. Healthline will be able to advise any action required.

If you have any questions, our Advice Service is here to help. Email us at, or give us a call on 0800 472 472 (1800 128 086 from Australia).

Updated 28 April 2021.

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