by | Mar 9, 2022

What could be the future of vaccination mandates in New Zealand workplaces?

A recent high court ruling found that the New Zealand government’s Covid-19 vaccination requirement, for NZ Police and Defence Force workers, was unlawful due to the limits it placed on the right to refuse medical treatment and the right to manifest religious beliefs. While this ruling referred specifically to employees of New Zealand Police and the Defence Force, employers should consider what impact the Yeardley vs Minister for Workplace Relations decision could have on their own vaccination policy.

Given the nature of our current environment being fast moving and fast changing it is important that Employer’s continuously review any COVID / Vaccination policy put in place to ensure the risk assessment remains valid. Employers might find that, despite this ruling, their own risk assessment on health and safety grounds continue to justify any restrictions put in place (such as the dismissal of unvaccinated employees). When reviewing your policy or potential outcomes for an employee, employers should consider a number of factors including:

  • Your completed risk assessment – Is the role still deemed high-risk?
  • What is the level of interaction with other colleagues or the public?
  • Is the work completed within vulnerable communities?
  • Can the role be completed from home?
  • What other controls does the business have in place?
  • Updated scientific advice from the Ministry of Health on our best defence to prevent transmission and infection

This is an evolving situation, and the official word is likely to change over the continued course of the pandemic. Employers should be prepared to consider and re-evaluate their position on vaccinations, as well as other controls, if changes to public policy occur. If you would like to discuss your vaccination policy and its impact on your workforce we can help, please contact us on team@pod.co.nz or 0800 476 347.

You might also like…

When overwhelm consumes you

When overwhelm consumes you

As a team of consultants and ex-business owners we know the pain you feel when leading (trying to survive) your business just gets a bit much.   When you know you want to run and hide, but the reality is when anyone asks how you are, you say with a smile ‘I’m fine!’...

Would you enthusiastically re-hire everyone in your team?

Would you enthusiastically re-hire everyone in your team?

Ideally, as leaders we get recruitment right every time and are confident that our team are ‘A players,’ which in short means they are passionate, committed, engaged, productive and living the values of the company.  Our ideal team members are complimentary with their...

Vaccination Mandates – what does it mean for your business?

Vaccination Mandates – what does it mean for your business?

If your business chose to mandate vaccination for your workers and you are not in a sector that was covered by the Government’s vaccination mandates, then you need to read this. Worksafe have provided guidelines for businesses and recommend that all businesses review...