CILT Friday Factsheet 2


What a difference a week makes!   We hope that you are coping well – and enjoying time with loved one – or, if you are still driving to work, enjoying the quiet roads!

When we hear some relevant supply – chain information, we will produce a Friday Factsheet for members.  Please provide any updates that we can circulate to others.

Wage SubsidyDespite the volume of applications received, most businesses are having the money deposited in their accounts within 20 working hours of their application – some as few as 8 hours!  This is amazing. Don’t forget that there are some hooks in this though:

1. Staff must first agree to have their personal details included in the application – if they don’t, the application cannot be lodged.

2. The subsidy is to assist employers to pay their employees 80% of their NORMAL wage – this includes any overtime that the employee usually earns.

3. An employer and employee may agree to pay an employee less than 80% – but this communication must be recorded. “Best endeavours”

4. On top of the 80%, the employer and employee can decide to top up the employee to 100% – this could be from the employer’s pocket or via the use of accumulated annual leave – NOTE: not sick leave.

5. MSD is not wasting time checking if applicants qualify at the moment – they are just paying out…. But later, after things have settled, audits will occur. I already know of companies that I hope to get audited.

6. There are already reports of employers not complying with the above.  The government have advised that investigations will be undertaken where appropriate.
Containers blocking ports  We are hearing reports that containers for non-essential operations are slowing down the movement of containers that are required for essential operations.

Logically, with non-essential containers not being emptied, this will add to the shortage of containers – i.e. the containers will not be available for essential exports – e.g. of food.

Can anyone give more information on this?  
When will tourism start again?  If the current lockdown in NZ is as successful as we hope, local tourism could be allowed again in May / June.

However, with different countries dealing with COVID-19 at different rates, NZ will be very careful about when to open the gates to foreign tourism. This means that it might take many months to get foreign tourist providers busy again.  
Unhappy workers  It is very difficult when workers engaged in essential work really don’t want to be there.  I had two examples yesterday where workers were very emotional about having to risk going to the factory…. One had a history of heart issues and the other had an unwell husband at home who didn’t want his wife exposed.

Essential Services are by definition essential and therefore we need these people safe and strong.  However, in this case, I worked with the employer to create a situation where these two ladies could be allowed not just to go home but, due to the subsidy, paid 80%.

A different staff member was weeping as her 99-year-old aunty’s birthday party has had to be cancelled and therefore she will celebrate with no family.  Another was very emotional as a family member dying in the hospital will “die alone as we are not allowed to go and see him”.

We need to remain compassionate and “kind”. Tough times.
Retail Sector  Seeing high demand in specific categories – especially garden products such as vegetables.

The lack of timber being cut due to export reductions is impacting the local supply of timber for the construction trade.

Retails being advised by suppliers to source elsewhere due to decreased product availability – resulting in higher prices to consumers.  Falling NZ dollars will accentuate this.

Benefitting from lower oil prices – and concerned that this might be short term.

Expecting late and delayed arrivals on seasonal items later in the year. – Greg Bolt  
Countdown SupermarketsPriority Assistance Service

To ensure the customers who most need it have access to online delivery services at this time, we are taking applications for a Priority Assistance service for online deliveries.

Eligibility for our Priority Assistance service is based on the government’s guidelines around those who are most at risk:

1. People over 70 years of age.

2. People with chronic illnesses including respiratory conditions, heart conditions, high blood pressure, kidney problems and diabetes. This also includes people undergoing treatment for cancer and blood conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.

3. People who are in self-isolation after returning from travel or coming into contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19.

4. We also know that a number of our customers have disabilities that make it difficult to shop in our stores. These customers will also be eligible for our Priority Assistance Service.
Could “on line / from home” become permanent?Well, only 24 hours in, and talk is already surfacing about people working much more from home on an on-going basis.

Working from home can be better for individuals and a great risk management tool for businesses. Many businesses have had to gear up for it, and it is likely to become the “norm” for many people going forward.

Working from home means that homes will be deemed as “workplaces” under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, but issues can be worked around quite easily.
Help with redundancies…Nice to see that a recruitment company (while all of their staff are at home on lockdown) are offering free CV update advice for anyone that has very recently been made redundant.  
“Chinese factories are beginning to buzz again….”  According to Tian Ying and Chunying Zhang on 25.03.20

“Employees are returning to work, production lines are starting to roll and even the original outbreak epicentre of Wuhan is ending is lockdown soon.

China is loosening the criteria for factories to resume operations as it walks a tightrope between containing the coronavirus and preventing a slump in the world’s second-largest economy.

This provides some relief for global manufacturers in the months ahead. Clearly the re-start is at an early stage, but things are gradually improving.

Scheduled airline capacity in China increased by 2.4% last week while all the other top 10 ten markets in the world declined.

Chinese subway traffic increased by 21% last week and online sales of large appliances rebounded in both volumes and average prices.

4 of the 5 Toyota manufacturing plants in China are back to full capacity. Telsa (helped by aid from local authorities) has surpassed the capacity that it had prior to the shutdown.

Airlines fill passenger seats with cargo to meet demand

Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and LATAM have been loading up passenger seats with cargo as they try to keep their aircraft as full as possible.

Earlier today, a Lufthansa Airbus A330 passenger aircraft loaded with around 30 tons of medical goods landed in Frankfurt today after an 11-hour flight from Shanghai in China.

In addition to the cargo compartments of the Airbus A330, the cabin – including the stowage compartments above the seats – was also loaded. Onboard the aircraft with the registration number D-AIKI were various urgent goods, mainly from the medical sector, including masks and other protective equipment.

More information please…

Most of this information was provided to CILT through speaking to our members; if you have anything to add, please let me know –

Stay safe.

Keith Robinson                    

CILT NZ President                   

27th March 2020