New Zealand government announces COVID-19 vaccination mandate for 40% of workers


Employees requiring the jab will have four weeks after the new traffic light system goes into effect. Workplace Relations Minister Michael Wood said under the changes up to 40% of New Zealand’s workforce could be covered by vaccination mandates. He said companies will need to undertake a “reasonable process” once the mandate goes into effect to assess whether unvaccinated staff can be made redundant.

A number of sectors have already had to be vaccinated, including health workers, teachers and workers in the disability sector. Prior to these groups, mandates were already in place for airport staff, border workers and any employee involved with MIQ. The government is reportedly considering extending the mandate to public sector workers, especially those in senior positions.

The New Zealand Restaurant Association said the mandate was good news for hospitality owners who suffered from the blockages, but warned it would be a challenge for employers to implement.

Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association, said: “This is a delicate new area of ​​labor law, and therefore ensuring that business owners are legally empowered to enforce vaccinations on the premises. is a positive step towards ensuring safe and healthy workplaces.

“In our discussions with members, the comments showed some concerns about the application of a policy that could make employers responsible for discrimination on the basis of immunization status.

“While imposing a policy is a welcome step in helping to keep businesses safe and operational, there is still an ongoing concern about the loss of valuable employees as a result of the tenure.

“We must remember that our industry is still suffering from a skills shortage and therefore its deployment will need to be carefully managed to reduce the risk of losing a percentage of our workforce.”

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