COVID-19 Legal Experts - Ford Sumner Lawyers 


Complex and ever-changing, the COVID-19 landscape is a difficult one for businesses to navigate. There are numerous issues to consider, including:

  • Obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015;
  • Vaccine mandates;
  • Health and safety risk assessments;
  • Medical exemptions;
  • COVID-19 workplace policies;
  • Clauses for employment and contractor agreements;
  • Privacy obligations; and
  • Staff consultation.

How is your organisation responding to these challenges? Are you legally-compliant and protected?

Ford Sumner Lawyers are experts in the COVID-19 space. Our dedicated Employment and Commercial teams are advising clients daily on a range of COVID-19 related issues. It is essential that employers understand their legal obligations and mitigate the various risks posed by COVID-19. In this respect, quality advice is key. Contact the COVID-19 legal experts today using the button below: 

Are you legally compliant and protected? 

The COVID-19 landscape is rapidly changing in the New Zealand context, it is important for employers and employees to have a clear understanding of their legal obligations and rights when considering the impact that COVID-19 related legislation may have on you or your business. 

How Ford Sumner Lawyers Can Help?

Ford Sumner COVID-19 Employer’s Toolkit


Ford Sumner can provide a range of services to meet your needs, from a one-off consultation through to working with you to implement a full COVID-19 response across your whole business.

We have developed our Ford Sumner COVID-19 Employer’s Toolkit which can add a significant level of process and assurance that you are meeting your legal obligations.


Download our COVID-19 Employer Toolkit using the button below:


Download Employer Toolkit

We've put together a range of useful resources to help employees and employers to navigate the changing environment as is relates to COVID-19 in New Zealand. 


Here are some of our most recent articles: 

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Solvency – A Plague On Directors’ Minds Solvency issues are top of mind for many Kiwi businesses in the face of the prolonged disruption caused by COVID-19, together with rising interest rates, inflation and supply chain issues. Link
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COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates continue to fall away Fonterra has discarded its strict vaccine policy and is instead allowing unvaccinated staff to take daily rapid antigen tests. Link
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Vaccine mandate order overturned for Police and Defence Force As it turns out, vaccine mandates may not be enforced as easily as originally anticipated. A recent COVID-19 High Court case has determined the vaccine mandate for police and defence force staff to be ‘unlawful’. The order requiring New Zealand police and defence force to be vaccinated has now been quashed. Link
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Covid-19 dominant in employment law work - Capital Letter article The Covid-19 pandemic continues to dominate work in Wellington-based Ford Sumner Lawyers’ employment law practice, with founding partner Jaesen Sumner expecting this will last well into 2022.  Link
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Buying a Business in Covid-19? Due diligence issues to consider Like many other big decisions, before buying a business you need to ask the right questions.  This is known as due diligence (“DD”) and should involve assessment of the financial, operational and legal affairs of your target business.  Done well, DD will help you to more fully understand your target’s business, identify and assess financial, legal and operational risks and opportunities, and inform whether and at what price, you want to proceed with the acquisition. Link
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Covid-19 Commercial Rent Relief Update

Earlier this month, we wrote about the COVID-19 Response (Management Measures) Legislation Bill (“Bill”). If passed, the Bill will have the effect of inserting an implied clause into many commercial leases providing for a rent reduction where, because of an epidemic, the tenant cannot gain access to the premises to fully conduct its business.


The Bill has since been through a public consultation process and the Finance and Expenditure Committee (“Committee”) has now published a report which summarises the various submissions on the Bill that the Committee received.

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COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace: Obligations for employers (Part 3) Hot on the heels of our previous articles, the third instalment of our ‘Vaccinations in the Workplace’ series looks at new Worksafe guidelines for deciding whether certain work should be performed by a vaccinated worker. Link
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Dismissal for failing to vaccinate against Covid-19 - Employment Relations Authority has first word On 1 September 2021 the Employment Relations Authority (“Authority”) issued a decision in GF v New Zealand Customs Service [2021] NZERA 382 where it grappled with the vexed issue of an employee (“GF”) being dismissed from their employment for failing to vaccinate against Covid-19. Link
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COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Workplace: Obligations for Employers (Part 2) Following on from our last article, in this article we are covering off more questions regarding the debate around COVID-19 vaccinations in the employment context, and what employers should be vigilant of. Link
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COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Workplace: Obligations for Employers (Part 1)

New Zealand’s vaccination rollout has gathered pace with approximately 782,000 Kiwi’s now fully vaccinated.  As vaccination rates increase with the availability of the Pfizer vaccine (Vaccine) and the anticipated easing of some border restrictions, a number of questions from employers and employees will arise about their obligations and rights when it comes to workplace vaccination requirements.  

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Further COVID-19 relief available for SMEs Relief is now available for small and medium sized enterprises (“SMEs”) whose revenue has been affected by the recent COVID-19 Alert Level hikes (from Alert Level 1 to Level 2 for most of the country) during February 2021, with applications for grants and subsidies having recently opened on the Inland Revenue and Work and Income websites. Link
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COVID-19 – New Relief For Small Businesses – Government Small Business Cashflow Scheme

On 1 May 2020, the Government announced a new initiative to help small businesses grapple with the devastation inflicted by COVID-19 and the Government’s response to it: the Small Business Cashflow Scheme (SBCS).

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Covid-19 – Changes to Company & Insolvency Law to help Preserve Businesses Today the Government announced urgent legislative changes to the Companies Act 1993 (“the Act”) to help companies face the unique challenges presented by COVID-19. Link
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Commercial Leases - Covid-19 and no access to premises The spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand and the Government’s response of introducing a nationwide lockdown has meant that all non-essential businesses have closed for the initial 4 week period, preventing many businesses’ access to their premises. The unprecedented circumstances have left tenants and landlords scrambling to assess their obligations under leases, especially in relation to rent and outgoings payments. Link
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Covid-19: Know your obligations as an employer While the number cases of Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) in New Zealand remains relatively low, it is now inevitable that the outbreak will have a significant impact on many aspects of daily life.  Link


Our team of COVID-19 legal experts are here to help.


Meet our team below: 


Jaesen Sumner

Read Jaesen’s Bio

Ruth Williams

Read Ruth’s Bio

Jordan Todd

Read Jordan’s Bio

Caylee Wood

Read Caylee’s Bio



If you're interested in getting in touch with our COVID-19 legal team, please fill out the short form below and one of our team will be in touch shortly.