The recent seismic activity in Christchurch has had a devastating effect on the city centre, as well as the outer suburbs, which have caused some businesses to grind to a halt in their operations. With the outlook brightening and the attitude of Cantabrians positive, and a general consensus that the worst was over after the initial September 2010 earthquake and the declining aftershocks, the 22nd February event caught all unaware. With the immediate concern of saving lives, homes and returning essential services back to the community, especially those in the worst hit Eastern regions, the focus has now turned to the rebuilding of a stronger and more vibrant Christchurch.
With the impetus now of economic recovery and the physical rebuild of the city, there are some positive signs that the local economy is starting to bounce back; built on the sweat and tears of Cantabrians who are trying to save their businesses and their employees in positions on employment. However, many businesses, especially in the Central Business District (CBD) have either been damaged beyond repair, or are unable to be accessed due to the cordons limiting admittance to the area. However, as each day passes, new areas of the CBD are reopened for business owners and residents to retrieve valuable business equipment and information; and other areas are opened for full access throughout the city. It may be hard to vision at this point in time, but it should be remembered that Christchurch will be rebuilt, and these businesses will once again thrive. New construction will provide for those whose buildings have been irreparably damaged and from the rubble, will form a new, stronger and more vibrant Christchurch, being built on the memories of those who lost their lives in the tragic event.
The immediate future of many people in respect to their employment is now becoming the focus of concern, with large government packages being released to assist affected businesses, the self employed, as well as those who have lost their jobs and are experiencing hardship. Businesses who have experienced substantial losses and are contemplating their next move, however, must still adhere to the legal framework for civil and criminal law. Where the red tape has been considered by many as the legal loopholes they have to jump through, in times like these, Employment Law and those specialising in its application, can be a savings grace; ensuring that all your decisions in these hard times are legally correct.
The last straw for an employer is to find that they have inavertedly done something illegal in respect to their roles, relationships and responsibilities towards their employees during their efforts to save their business. Ensure that you are conducting your business actions according to current employment law and safeguard the future of your business in the new Christchurch.