last updated 26 October 2021.
Here’s a link to the mandate:
If this is affecting your job wait for your employer to instigate the process. If you resign prematurely you risk giving up any rights you may have to challenge the process if your rights have been breached. Ask for all discussions about this matter to be in writing so you can keep a track of the process your employer follows. We encourage you to engage with your union, they should be working with employers to make sure they follow a fair process.
No employer can demand any one person be vaccinated, however, they can, after careful consideration, decide that the role they offer, requires a vaccinated person to carry it out, due to the risk inherent in an unvaccinated person (more on this below) and that person’s interaction with the public and/or vulnerable members of the community.
Ask to see the risk assessment and make sure it aligns with your exact role.
A legal vaccination policy in a place of employment is one that is developed with Health and Safety in mind, taking into consideration the good faith requirements found in the Employment Relations Act.
There are three steps an employer MUST take before undertaking to dismiss someone for being unvaccinated:
- The employer must create a vaccination policy;
- The employer must undertake a thorough risk assessment on all employment positions;
- A thorough consultation must be in engaged in, along the lines of any redundancy requirement. This means consulting with all staff and consulting with every staff member regarding redeployment if they are vaccine-hesitant or unable to take the vaccine.
If you have been told there is a Vaccine Policy coming in at your work, and you have been asked for feedback, you should ask to see the Risk Assessment undertaken for your specific role. When you have this, please check that it is:
- Correct for the role you do; check that it is correct when it assesses the risk the person in the role may contract Covid-19, and;
- That it is correct in terms of assessing that the role poses a high risk for widespread community transmission, and/or;
- Whether the role interacts with vulnerable people who are at serious risk of illness.
If you have a medical certificate stating you are unable to take the vaccine this needs to be taken into consideration and alternative methods of risk control need to be identified and assessed for efficacy.
It is worth noting that you do not have to provide your vaccine status, however, if an employer asks and the information is not given, the employer is entitled to assume you are not vaccinated. All details gathered about you during this process are protected by our privacy laws.
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