COVID-19 time off: We are here to help!

Hi everyone!

This is Glen from St. Pierre’s Retail Operations.

I’m writing to talk about the COVID-19 situation and what the company is doing to help.
Short answer: don’t worry! If you are required to isolate, you still get paid!

First, we know it’s a worrying time. NZ hasn’t had this much COVID before, and it is a concern. But please remember that we’re in this together, and we will get through it together!

Boosters are for everyone and available everywhere!

Also remember that – if we take precautions – Omicron is not so dangerous for most people. The best thing we can all do is keep wearing masks and washing our hands like before, and getting a booster (third) vaccine. It’s safe and free for everyone in NZ, whatever your visa.

If you haven’t had a booster, please get one ASAP. They’re available everywhere – you can make a booking or just walk in. If you need time, please talk to your manager – you can get a booster while on the clock at work.

There’s one more thing. If you get COVID, don’t feel embarrassed. Sadly, it is happening to many people. The most important thing is to protect your health and everyone else by isolating at home until you recover.

If you feel sick, here’s what to do:

A rapid antigen (RAT) test
  • If you have COVID symptoms
    • Cough, sneezing, runny nose, fever, loss of smell or taste, sore throat…
  • Tell your manager, and get a rapid test (RAT) from work, a testing centre etc.
  • If you test negative, talk with your manager about taking sick leave as usual
    • Whatever the reason for being unwell, please be socially responsible and stay home
    •      It’s the right thing to do for your team and customers
  • If you test positive for COVID, you need to isolate (at home away from other people) for ten days

If you test positive or are a household contact and have to isolate, don’t worry! Together, the company and the Government will support you. You can still get paid as usual for up to ten days. You just need to give us one of:

RAT test result samples
  • A photo of a positive RAT test
  • Formal instruction to self-isolate such as
    • A text message from the Ministry of Health
    • An email or diagnosis from a doctor
    • A screenshot from your COVID -19 Tracer App

Then you get paid 80%-100% of your usual pay.
You may be formally required to self-isolate even if you don’t test positive. If so, you get paid too.

After ten days of isolation and no more symptoms, people have recovered from Omicron. It’s then safe for staff to return to work, so please welcome them back, working as a team to support each other.

Remember, we’re in this together! Please try to stop the spread by good hygiene and getting a booster shot. If you do get COVID, please isolate to stop further spread!

Let us help you – and your family – stay safe and well!

If you have any questions, please get in touch with your manager or me at Or look for information in other languages.

Finally, here’s a chart which can help if you’re still not sure:

Partner Feature: Phillip (Rolleston)

Welcome to our latest partner feature!
Today we’re visiting Phillip in Rolleston, a relaxed satellite town just south of Christchurch.

Phillip came to NZ from China 20 years ago, making NZ’s southern city his home.

“I really love the lifestyle here. I’ve been with St. Pierre’s for over eight years, starting around the time my daughter was born. My first five years were at Riccarton, and now nearly four years in Rolleston. Some partners move shops a lot, but I’m happy with just two!”

Phillip in a rare quiet moment at work (photographed before the COVID-19 outbreak)

Even still, Phillip has learned a lot about local customer bases and how to tailor the products his shop makes most.

“Rolleston is growing fast. A lot of people moving here work very hard, so jumbo-sized packs are very popular! And we mostly sell chicken, not so much salmon and tuna. It’s a different market to Christchurch.”

Phillip (second from left) enjoying team building at the July 2021 manager conference

Phillip believes in the power of community engagement and a strong team to build a successful shop.

“Rolleston is growing, but it still has a small-town feel. The schools are well respected and focal points for the community. We work with the schools a lot, supplying sushi vouchers for prizegiving. Associating St. Pierre’s with success creates a positive image in the community.

We also do intro to sushi classes at school. We take fresh ingredients from the shop, and get the kids to try rolling their own. We talk about other sushi like nigiri and how to eat it. Kids love the experience, then bring their parents to the shop. We also have a stall at school fairs – last time we sold out in 30 minutes! We had to make three deliveries.

Getting kids used to sushi helps the shop succeed now, and good memories as kids make them sushi lovers for life. Engaging with schools is a winner for everyone.”

And of course, looking after people also includes the shop staff!

“I want to help our staff get their bonuses, giving them tips what they need to do each day. I encourage staff to learn more skills, organising a pay rise once they prove they’ve learned. Skills lead to confidence leads to motivation.”

“All our team members are locals, and lots are mums with kids. They have great life experience, communication and team work. Some can only do limited hours, but everyone understands each other’s situations, so we cover for each other. Teamwork keeps the shop going.”

“I love to celebrate milestones too. Each year we mark the shop anniversary with free four-piece packs and stickers for the kids, and we give staff chocolates and fruit at Christmas. Staff and customers love little extras.”

Phillip’s team in a rare quiet moment!

Phillip’s unique approach to team building has delivered – shop sales are consistently in the top three nationwide. Phillip is happy with the partnership position, but is still looking ahead.

“The money and work content as partner is great. I love putting time into community engagement and helping our people grow. We have several staff who are very keen to move up, and my challenge is training them to be future managers and partners. The company is growing fast and I’d love to see them succeed!”

Part of success is having lots of stock ready to go. Phillip’s customers are always spoiled for choice!

Phillip is justifiably proud of his many achievements. At St. Pierre’s, we’re proud to have amazing people like him! We have a strong “people first” culture, supporting each other as we set challenging goals. Phillip’s unique approach to management which has taken him far – here’s to everyone across the St. Pierre’s Group aiming high!