Red Stag paying bonus to vaccinated staff

Friday 26 Nov 2021

Christmases are coming early for Red Stag Timber staff and contractors with NZ$3,000 bonusses for those who get vaccinated and stay up to date with booster shots next year. The company is paying the bonuses after being on track to achieve budgets without the need for last year’s wage subsidy.

“We decided to give it back” explains group CEO Marty Verry, “and figure our staff will put it to better use locally than central government.” The NZ$2,000 bonus this December and NZ$1,000 next December is tied to vaccination status.

“Obviously we want all our staff, their families and work colleagues to be safe and have as much protection from Covid as possible”, says Verry. “But equally we are conscious that there are dozens of merchant clients and thousands of trades people down-stream from Red Stag that rely on its structural timber to keep building next year. New Zealand needs us to keep producing. You could say we are using this bonus to try to put the fence at the top of the cliff, and prevent Covid in the workforce, rather than having to react to shutdowns”.

“There is also the matter of inflation, which is running hot. We want to help staff get through this hump and have a great Christmas. It’s been a fairly tumultuous year and the team have gone above and beyond to work overtime to keep up with market needs. They deserve it.”

Red Stag is also conscious of its role as the largest private employer in the Rotorua district where vaccination rates are low and many businesses have been severely affected by the lack of international tourism. “If we can trigger higher vaccine protection and get more funds into the community, we can help get Rotorua to an orange or green light in December and support the local economy” he says.

“Further out, we can see a collapse of the construction market within two years also. We may be the next tourism industry the way population growth is being choked by government restrictions on immigration. We’re paying bonuses while we still can”, adds Verry.

Source: Red Stag Timber

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