From the beginning of this unfolding Covid-19 event, Foodstuffs has believed that two things matter, the safety and wellbeing of its team and customers and the assurance that groceries will be available for New Zealanders.

The Foodstuffs co-operatives consisting of 428 independent business members across the PAK'nSAVE, New World and Four Square brands, all fundamentally believe that our vulnerable people need looking after. The current situation Covid-19 has been fast moving requiring the business to deal with extreme demand and rapidly changing retail operations. While some stores might not have got the position around paying their staff right as this has changed, it is the promise of all of the co-operatives members they will all have it right moving forward.

Foodstuffs co-operatives nationally announced today all waged front-line, distribution and transport employees nationwide will receive a 10 per cent allowance on top of their pay for the hours worked throughout the four-week Alert Level 4 lockdown. This is in recognition of their willingness to ensure New Zealanders’ grocery needs are met and for the tireless commitment they continue to show.

The co-operatives also confirmed all medically certified vulnerable employees nationwide who are unable to work during the lockdown, will be paid during this period and supported as they self-isolate at home.

“We are operating in extraordinary times and as the situation evolves, we learn and determine more about what we can do next as a business to support our people and New Zealand,” said Chris Quin, CEO, Foodstuffs North Island. “We will remain open for New Zealanders throughout the lockdown and in order to do so, we need our key employees on the front-line and throughout the supply chain.

“We’ve been totally focused on keeping shelves full and ensuring our customers and teams are safe. Now that we have a better handle on these things, it’s time to clear up how we’re supporting our committed and essential team members.”

“This is an historic period for New Zealand, and we are extremely grateful to our teammates who come to work every day to serve New Zealanders during this trying time,” said Steve Anderson, CEO, Foodstuffs South Island. They deserve extra recognition for their commitment and we’re proud to give it to them.”

Every waged front-line, distribution centre and transport team member working through the lockdown will receive a 10 per cent allowance each pay cycle for the four-week duration of Alert Level 4.

Foodstuffs defines front-line and distribution centre team members as the following: waged employees across all Foodstuffs retail stores nationwide (New World, PAK’nSAVE, Four Square), distribution centres and transport teams.

Vulnerable workers are determined by the Ministry of Health’s Vulnerable Assessment criteria on what health conditions or other complicating factors define an individual as vulnerable.

“We are proud of the leadership our people have exhibited over the last couple of weeks,” said Anderson. “Our employees are the mainstay of what we do, and we couldn’t be there for New Zealand if it wasn’t for them. Thank you.”