Morena, our single biggest source of member query at the moment is focused on the topic of vaccinations, and in particular whether employers can implement a "no jab, no job" policy.
There has been much public discussion about whether a business can mandate vaccinations. The answer is "it depends". There may be some roles within the business where, following a risk assessment, it is determined that the role must be carried out by a vaccinated person, but there is a rigorous process to get there.
This eletter is here to provide you with the tools to undertake that assessment including a risk template and a series of questions and indicative answers that will guide you to a reasonable determination about whether a person undertaking a particular role should be vaccinated.
There is also a process of controls to be reviewed to determine actions that can be taken to either eliminate or minimise the risks associated with each role, regardless of whether the person is vaccinated or not. Remember this is about assessing the risk of infection and spread, not the risk of economic impact to your business.
All of this should be undertaken in consultation with employees so that they can provide input to the considerations.
The flip side of the coin is the ability for a business to restrict access for non-vaccinated visitors and contractors. As a business you are able to mandate this, and as businesses go down this pathway it may impact some of the work that your business does that needs to be taken into consideration when undertaking the risk assessment.
We are happy to help you work through this if you need any assistance.
As an employer you have an obligation under the Health and Safety at Work Act to provide a safe and healthy workplace, and to take steps to eliminate or minimise any hazards.
The chart attached here is a sample Risk Assessment form (thanks for Jenkins Freshpac for sharing this) and also provides a couple of sample roles and how that assessment may look. The Likelihood and Consequence Criteria will differ for each business and you will need to review and adjust these where appropriate.
These criteria can be developed in conjunction with the questions on the document attached here which have been provided to help you develop a risk profile for each role and to subsequently reach a conclusion about whether vaccination is one of the control measures required to minimise the risk of contracting and transmitting Covid-19. Please remember numerous control measures may be required to create the strongest possible response, and these controls should be reviewed regularly to ensure they remain the best defence.
WAGE SUBSIDY #5 IS OPEN
Applications are open now and close on 28 October. With Auckland and the Waikato remaining at Level 3 the wage subsidy is expected to continue to be made available at two week intervals.
Click here to start your application.
In addition the Prime Minister is expected to announce further financial assistance for businesses tomorrow and we will let you know what these are and how you can apply when they are released.
MY COVID RECORD IS NOW LIVE
People can now access their own vaccination records at www.mycovidrecord.nz. Users will need to create a My Health Account to access their records. Anyone who wishes to create an account must be at least 16 years old.
In late November, users will be able to access two different types of vaccination certificates – one for use in New Zealand, and one for travel overseas. Further information can be read on the Ministry of Health Website.