Legislative vaccination mandates

Legislative booster mandates are in place affecting some public sector workforces:

Workers covered by the Order are required to have a booster. Border and health workers are required to have received their booster by 15 February 2022, or no later than six months after their second dose. Corrections workers are required to have received their booster by 1 March 2022, or no later than six months after their second dose.

Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 lists the specific work covered by a legislative vaccination mandate. Schedule 3 sets out the vaccination requirements. Schedule 4 sets out the booster requirements. Part 8 sets out the booster deadlines.

Employees who are not fully vaccinated, or vaccinated and boosted, in a role where this is required by legislative mandate

If the role of an employee who is not fully vaccinated and boosted as required by the Order, or has not provided their vaccination status, includes work that is covered by a mandate (affected work), agencies should arrange an individual conversation with the employee. Ensure the employee has access to their union representative or other support person throughout this process.

The purpose of the conversation is to:

  • Discuss in good faith the assessment that shows the employee’s role includes affected work
  • Outline the timeframe by which the work will only be undertaken by vaccinated and boosted employees
  • Offer an opportunity for the employee to provide feedback on the assessment and timeframe
  • Offer further support to be vaccinated
  • Explore alternative options such as:
    • Changes to the employee’s role (including location at which work is performed) to ensure it does not include affected work
    • Redeployment to suitable alternative duties within the agency that do not include affected work
    • Temporary redeployment to suitable alternative duties in a different agency
    • Four weeks’ paid notice of termination (or the notice period of their employment agreement if more than four weeks) if no suitable alternatives are available.

Employees in a role where the legislative mandate is scheduled to be removed

From 4 April vaccination mandates no longer apply to the New Zealand Police, New Zealand Defence Force and Education sector. Agencies are strongly advised to complete a health and safety risk assessment regarding the possible continuing requirement for vaccination in these workforces. This should be completed prior to the mandates removal. Please refer to Section 4 Vaccination Guidance and Appendix One for further details on this.

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