While Kiwis are no doubt eager and excited at the possibility of trans Tasman travel with the opening of the travel bubble, it may well have unforeseen consequences for you as an employer which you will need to consider if you have employees wanting to travel to Australia.

The big concern of course is, as an employer, what do you do if your employee travels overseas and there is another outbreak and the borders are closed once again – resulting in your employee being stranded in Australia. This will of course potentially pose less issues for those who are set up to work remotely and therefore it may well be able to be “business as usual” for those employees. The concern will arise when this isn’t possible. As an employer therefore what do you need to put in place to try and safeguard against these risks? Firstly we would recommend a clear policy about travel in the current Covid climate such that employees wanting to travel are aware of what will happen with leave, unpaid leave and/or their jobs if they are stranded overseas and unable to return for extended periods of time. The policy and procedures should also contain clear guidelines that any costs associated with this will be the employees (unless of course the travel is for work purposes). It is also prudent to have detailed discussions with employees intending to travel about their date of departure, date of return, process that is to be followed if they are stranded overseas and so on.