Some New Zealand businesses are rallying behind parents affected by today's primary school teachers' strike.

Around 29,000 teachers across the country will be walking out, meaning hundreds of thousands of children will not be attending school.

One of New Zealand's leading beverage companies, Asahi Beverages, has responded by putting on a family friendly day where staff with children are encouraged to bring their kids to work.

Tash Callister, national business & strategy manager for Independent Liquor, said the strike would affect a lot of their employees and the initiative was a way to help parents manage on the day.

Advertisement

"We understood that it would affect a lot of our employees," Callister said.

"[We thought] 'how do we create a bit of fun out of a situation that could have been a bit challenging for parents on the day'?"

The company will be transforming part of its office into a creative wonderland for the kids, and has two qualified nannies coming in so parents can concentrate on work.

One side of the room is set up as a chill-out space with giant Jenga, movie theatre, colouring and couches, while the other side is set up with Lego, crafts, face painting, play doh, a board game selection and big white boards for drawing.

In addition, some of the company's employees who used to work for toy companies have organised for toys to be donated.

"We thought it could be a cool idea and a good cultural initiative for our team," Callister said.

"We're always trying to think about ways that we can do things a little differently and really support and encourage people."

Play-Doh, crayons and presents in the background await children in the Asahi office. Photo / Supplied
Play-Doh, crayons and presents in the background await children in the Asahi office. Photo / Supplied

Callister says they've got 17 children coming into work today, "which is pretty cool", she said.

Advertisement

Callister said she has received an "overwhelming response" from the team regarding the initiative, including around 30 emails flooding her inbox with messages of 'thanks'.

"I've been probably most overwhelmed by the comments and support from even our team members that don't have children," Callister said.

"They've [staff] got behind the whole day and kind of want to be involved which is quite nice."

Callister said some staff will be making the children fluffy's at morning tea, while someone would be baking cupcakes.

Auckland-based advertising agency DDB Group will be allowing parents to work from home today.

Justin Mowday, DDB Group chief executive, said it was a responsible thing to do given many of its employees will be affected by the strike.

"In this case we looked at it and we went 'how are all our parents going to cope this Wednesday?' and it just seemed like the responsible thing to do," Mowday said.

He couldn't confirm how many people would be working from home, but said DDB Group employs 220-230 staff and at least half of them are parents.

It's not the first time the company has allowed staff to work from home. All staff have been given the option on a couple of occasions where storms or other weather-related events have made travelling to work difficult.

Mowday said teachers were the unsung heroes of society and that they play a phenomenal role on our lives.

"My personal view is that teachers play a phenomenal role and I've always thought that given the impact that they have on people that they are underpaid," Mowday said.

Kirk Hope, BusinessNZ chief executive, said it will be a disruptive day for both employers and employees with children.

"It will be disruptive for people who have had to make other arrangements for their kids and for themselves in some cases… and it will take some people out of the workplace for the day, so there will certainly be implications," Hope said.

Hope said employers needed to be flexible where possible as the strike was clearly out of parents hands.

"The key thing is to have a conversation with your boss about what you're proposing to do, whether it's annual leave, leave without pay, whether you're working from home or if it's possible to bring a child or children into an office," he said.