The purpose

The purpose of this Advisory is to update you on work we are doing to manage worker wellbeing in our sector.

RTF wellbeing initiatives

Unlike a lot of business activities and workers, the heavy freight sector remains out there playing essential roles in keeping the country going. COVID-19 increase risks to the wellbeing of our people and the advice below shows two of the ways we are being proactively responsible in managing the risks.

The RTF strongly recommends getting the COVID-19 vaccine as the best possible way to protect against the virus.

• Several months also the RTF anticipated the possibility of further lockdowns and since then we have had on-going dialogue with the Ministry of Health and Minister Hipkins seeking assistance and prioritisation for the vaccination of road freight drivers. The RTF also predicted that a more severe virus strain, such as Delta, would increase risk on driver resources and compromise our capacity to continue providing the level of transport services that is essential to keep our economy going and all our people well.

The Ministry of Health is now working with us to prioritise truck drivers for vaccination, as frontline workers, and we are working on the logistics of that. You will hear more from us on that this week.

• COVID-19 is impacting how we live and operate and the associated volatility and uncertainty means that it is particularly important to focus on mental wellbeing so that we make good decisions and manage the additional stress. Common causes of stress among employees:

o Catching or spreading COVID-19
o Concerns about how long the pandemic will last
o Worries about finances, job security and feeding the whānau/family
o Work and home and parenting stressors in the mirumiru/bubble
o Feelings around isolation and redefining connections to various communities, including work
o Loss of extended supports
o Fears around whether they can cope during this time.

We recommend you consider using guides such as Workplace wellbeing during Covid- 19 | Mental Health Foundation which is provided by the Mental Health Foundation to promotes a supportive environment for your employees. This guidance will help you assess the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and reduce risk factors and increase protective factors.