Update: Vodafone response to Coronavirus
At Vodafone NZ we are monitoring the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) closely and continue to prioritise the health and safety of our employees, customers and wider New Zealand. We have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) action group set up locally, and are working closely with our international colleagues in the Vodafone Group, to respond to the impacts of COVID-19.
As of today there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Vodafone NZ.
We follow all NZ Ministry of Health guidelines and have been communicating regularly with our staff, contractors and suppliers regarding travel restrictions and precautionary measures. The latest policies that we have put in place for the protection of our staff include the following:
- all Vodafone NZ staff to work from home with the exception of retail staff and a small number of office-based staff who are business critical and cannot work remotely
- any staff still based in the office to exercise physical distancing at all times and movement between office floors restricted
- contingencies are being put in place for those staff members who currently cannot work from home
- all face-to-face business meetings cancelled – all meetings to be set up to operate digitally
- any staff that has travelled internationally from Wednesday 4 March onwards is required to self-isolate for 14 days
Other Vodafone NZ policies recently implemented that stand in place include:
- all business travel restricted until further notice
- any staff that has been in close contact with a person confirmed with COVID-19 or in close contact with a person in self-isolation due to contact with COVID-19 (whether or not this person is displaying symptoms) within the past 14 days are required to notify their line manager and self-isolate for 14 days. Note that close contact is defined as:
- living in the same household
- having been within one meter of the person for a period of 15 minutes of more
- having spent two hours or longer in the same room or another closed space
- a dedicated Sharepoint site has been created to host up to date information and direction for staff
- the level to which office sites are cleaned has been increased to include disinfecting all surfaces every 24 hours
- hand sanitisation stations have been set up in the foyer, lifts, and high-use areas of Vodafone’s offices, and additional soap dispensers have been provided in the kitchens
All the above policies are regularly reviewed and updated as the situation changes.
We are closely monitoring device supply levels, maintaining good relationships with our vendors and suppliers, and working dynamically to mitigate any supply delays that emerge. Our processes also require that our suppliers demonstrate that their BCPs are documented, managed and tested, and we routinely audit our key suppliers’ responses. We have also provided our business customers with a Business Continuity Checklist for reference when creating their own BCP.
We are continually looking at what we can do for our customers, especially for those in hardship. We have announced the first wave of our COVID-19 Care Plan, providing customers broadband and mobile data certainty, removing disconnections and late payment fees, and helping people access key education and health sites for free.
At present our nationwide network of retail stores is available as usual, has new health and safety measures in place such as more frequent, deeper cleaning and new signage in place to educate health and safety guidelines for customers. Due to precautionary measures in New Zealand and internationally, our Customer Care teams are managing the impacts of COVID-19 while dealing with higher call volumes. We therefore ask our customers to use digital customer service methods wherever possible to reduce the reliance on call centre staff.
For more information on Vodafone New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 see www.vodafone.co.nz/covid19.