The steps you take to ensure your volunteers’ health and safety at work during the COVID-19 pandemic will likely be the same as those you take with your other workers.

You need to decide how you’ll implement  COVID-19 public health guidance for the Alert Level your region is subject to at the time. You also need to think about how you continue to meet the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 requirements.

You can find more information about the public health requirements, and how to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic in our COVID-19 advice and guidance section

You should consider documenting your approach so you can share it with your workers, volunteers and others.  A template is available on our Operating Safely – what you need to think about page.  

Some of the things you could consider, if required, include:

  • having volunteers work from home where possible
  • using split shifts, staggered meal breaks, and flexible working arrangements
  • using online or phone orders, contactless delivery or managed entry (such as one in, one out policies), and avoiding crowding outside premises
  • cleaning premises more often, especially counters and other high-touch surfaces.

You should review your volunteer arrangements, systems, and processes regularly, and involve volunteers and other workers in this too.

At-risk volunteers

At higher Alert Levels, ‘at-risk’ volunteers are advised to stay at home.  This includes those over 70 and pregnant women.  For many people, volunteering is important for their mental health and well-being.  You should consider making arrangements for volunteers to perform their volunteer work from home, where reasonably practicable.

Additional guidance on at-risk people(external link) is available from the Ministry of Health.

Resources on remote volunteering(external link) are available from Volunteering New Zealand.

Meet public health requirements

We expect you to meet public health requirements for physical distancing, contact tracing, and any applicable limits on attendance for your type of work. If you decide to use personal protective equipment (PPE) as a COVID-19 control, make sure you follow public health guidance on PPE use(external link)