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Back to Work Toolkit


Alert Levels

Back to Work Toolkit

As more businesses begin to return to work and commercial drivers begin to hit the road again, it’s important to not underestimate the effects of several weeks away from behind the wheel. Knowing the alert levels while working during the pandemic is important to understand the health measures in place and the range restrictions still in place.

Level 4 Lockdown

Likely the disease is not contained. Community transmission is occurring. Widespread outbreaks and new clusters.

  • People instructed to stay at home other than for essential personal movement.
  • Safe recreational activity is allowed in local area.
  • Travel is severely limited.
  • All gatherings cancelled and all public venues closed.
  • Businesses closed except for essential services.

Level 3 Restrict

Heightened risk that disease is not contained. Community transmission might be happening. New clusters may emerge but can be controlled through testing and contact tracing.

  • Stay home other than for essential personal movement.
  • Physical distancing of 2m outside home.
  • People must work from home unless that is not possible.
  • Businesses can open premises, no physically interaction.
  • Low risk local recreation activities are allowed.
  • Public venues are closed.
  • Healthcare services use virtual, no contact consultations where possible.
  • Inter-regional travel is highly limited.

Level 2 Reduce

Disease is contained, but risks of community transmission growing. Household transmission could be occurring. Single or isolated cluster outbreaks.

  • Physical distancing of 1m outside home.
  • Gatherings of up to 100 people indoors and 500 outdoors allowed.
  • Sport and recreation activities are allowed.
  • Public venues can open.
  • Health services operate as normally as possible.
  • Most businesses open, and premises can be open for staff and customers.
  • Schools and Early Childhood Education centres open.
  • People advised to avoid non-essential inter-regional travel.

Level 1 Prepare

Disease is contained. COVID-19 is uncontrolled overseas. Isolated household transmission could be occurring in New Zealand.

  • Border entry measures to minimise risk of importing COVID-19 cases.
  • Intensive testing for COVID-19 & rapid contact tracing.
  • Self-isolation and quarantine required.
  • Schools and workplaces open.
  • Physical distancing encouraged.
  • No restrictions on gatherings.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Wash and dry hands, cough into elbow, don’t touch your face.
  • No restrictions on domestic transport
  • Avoid public transport or travel if sick.

Returning to Work

Managing the business & protecting employee wellbeing

Returning To Work

At all times, businesses must follow the latest Ministry of Health advice about COVID-19 and promote good hygiene practices at work, while all workers must identify and manage any emerging risks.

Businesses must create plans that focus on managing environments to maintain the health of all persons.

Follow all reasonable health and safety instructions, policies and procedures.

Business & Employee Wellbeing

Ensure staff are able to take regular breaks during the workday and provide opportunities for people to boost wellbeing. 

Communication with staff via email, phone, text, etc. Check in on how they are, if they are suffering financially or is there stress at home.

Communicate an expectation that all households are following the rules.

Managing Vulnerable Workers

Allowing those workers that are vulnerable, whether disabilities or immune deficiencies, to continue to work from home is important.

If anyone is sick, encourage staying home and working from home until completely recovered.

Ensuring everyone has all they need to do their job safely is important.

Health, Wellbeing and Hygiene

To protect yourself and those you work with you should follow basic hygiene measures.

The business will have to alter many processes such as introducing new hygiene rules.

Basic hygiene measures include remembering to cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues or wear a mask if one is available.

Emergency Management

Businesses must ensure that workers understand that any individual exhibiting flu-like symptoms such as fever, coughing, or congestion must:

  • Contact their supervisor & HR.
  • Stay at home and self-isolate.
  • Follow Covid19 Healthline advice if exposed.

Prevent those exposed from returning to the workplace or conducting work activities.

Cleaning Procedures

Revamped cleaning procedures should be for all employees and management.

Encourage employees to actively participate in ensuring workspaces are kept clean.

  • Regularly clean & disinfect workplace
  • Often wash hands with soap for 20 secs
  • Stock up on essentials

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Everyone should have access to correct PPE to protect those within the workspace environment.

Ensure stocks are full of gloves, masks, sanitiser or soap are kept at all times.

What are your customers’ requirements in terms of PPE, is it provided or a protocol you must adhere to in terms of your contract?

Social Distancing

Social distancing is about keeping a safe distance from others. It is recommended to keep 2m away from other people.

This is important to help protect everyone from COVID-19, which spreads via droplets from coughing.

Consider keeping those who can work from home at home, try to minimise visitors where possible and meetings via electronically or in an open space.


The first week back is an important one to be mindful of how employees are going to cope returning to work.

  • How will you get your team engaged in this – start early?
  • Do you have a Fatigue management policy in place?
  • Ensure alternate ways to allocate work duties are provided.
  • What technology do you have available for drivers in terms of managing fatigue?

Fleet Maintenance

As drivers begin to get back onto the road, ensure your fleet and all employee vehicles are up to scratch.

Are your processes still fit for purpose? Policies may require changing in order to keep everyone safe such as workshop social distancing.

  • How is this being managed?
  • Can they maintain 2m distance?

Vehicle & Employee Licenses

Vehicles that have been parked up may require licenses renewed, including RUC.

A delay in getting a COF doesn’t remove the compliance requirement.

Employees may have endorsements or renewals.

Ensure all employees and their licence requirements are checked before getting started, including vehicle registration and RUC requirements.

Onsite visitors

Only essential personnel should be able to access sites.

Signage advising all visitors must call prior to arriving is an option. If electronic sign in machines are used these must be cleaned and sanitised after each use.

Keep in mind the 2m social distance rule.


Drivers must be aware of their duties when delivering onto customer sites. Normal Health & Safety at Work duties must be adhered too, however extra protocols will need to be put in place to ensure drivers are kept within a safe environment when delivering goods.

Provision of PPE gear is a must and customer requirements taken into account.

Ensure there are signs on workplace premises for deliveries/pickups required at your business site.

Clients, Customers & Contractors

Communication is key when it comes to operating with your customers. Ensure you update them on the new policies in place, as well as asking for any update to their practices.

Find out if there are any alternative approaches to service, like contactless deliveries and electronic invoices sent.

Don’t forget your contractors. Get in touch with them to confirm they understand new protocols.


Additional Resources