Mandatory Vaccine Order for Health and Disability sector
The Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order (No 3) 2021 came into effect at 11.59pm last night, 25 October.
The previously indicated date for workers in this sector to receive their first vaccine has changed from 30 October 2021 to 15 November 2021.
The second vaccination must now have been given by 1 January 2022.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have fielded many calls from practices as they try to navigate their way through this legislation change in a very short time frame.
The extension to the dates for vaccination provides a little respite but the employment process remains the same, with a health and safety viewpoint.
Employers must go through a consultation process with employees advising that if they haven’t received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by 15 November, and they do not qualify for an exemption, they will be unable to work in their role. Options for redeployment should be investigated, if none are available and the employee chooses not to be vaccinated then they should be advised that they will be unable to work in their role after 15 November.
The employee should be encouraged to seek advice from someone they trust prior to making their final decision about their vaccination status.
The Ministry of Health has published a guidance document over the weekend that can be downloaded from this link https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-response-planning/covid-19-mandatory-vaccinations
This is general information, and you should seek advice on your individual circumstances.
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