Govt tool to support workplace vaccination decision-making launches

Workplace Relations and Safety
  • Vaccination assessment tool available today, guiding businesses on vaccine requirements for workers
  • Employers required to provide paid time off for employees to get vaccinated
  • Mandate for Police and NZDF comes into effect 11:59pm today

“Today the Government has launched an assessment tool to help businesses make decisions on vaccine requirements for workers,” Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced.

“Vaccinations remain our best tool to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our workplaces, communities and whānau safe. More than 89 per cent of eligible New Zealanders are now fully vaccinated, which demonstrates the massive effort already undertaken by individuals and workplaces across the country.

“Businesses have been calling for clear rules in law to help guide decisions on vaccine requirements for workers. We have delivered on that, with a new, simplified tool to assess when it is reasonable to require vaccination for work, which will be particularly helpful to small businesses.

“The assessment tool builds on guidance already provided by WorkSafe. It specifies four key factors, covering public health considerations. At least three of the factors must be met before it is reasonable to require vaccination for particular work,” Michael Wood said.

The vaccination assessment tool includes the following four factors: the work environment, whether the worker can maintain one metre physical distancing, the length of time the worker is in close proximity to another person, and whether the worker provides services to people who are vulnerable to COVID-19.

“I’m aware that many businesses have already conducted their own health and safety risk assessments to determine whether vaccination is required. This new process won’t override those assessments, and businesses can choose which assessment process to follow.

“As per normal health and safety processes, any decisions about workplace vaccination requirements must be made in consultation with workers and their representatives, like unions.

“The clarity and detail in the tool provides confidence to businesses and workers that the right process is being followed,” Michael Wood said.