Hundreds of thousands of education and health staff – including teachers, GPs, pharmacists and nurses – will need to be fully vaccinated in the coming months or face losing their jobs. Healthcare workers will have to be fully vaccinated by December 1 this year, and will need to have had their first dose by October 30.
The two-dose deadline for high-risk health and disability staff is December 1 this year, and for education – including all school and ECE staff who come into contact with students – it is January 1 next year. Secondary schools, from next year, will also be required to keep a register to show the vaccination status of students.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins, who is also the Education Minister, has just revealed Cabinet’s decision on mandatory vaccinations for workers in the education and healthcare sectors.
“It’s not an easy decision, but we need the people who work with vulnerable communities who haven’t yet been vaccinated to take this extra step,” he said.
“Exemptions may be possible under some circumstances.”
This brings about a whole set of new legal issues which need to be addressed. These are some of the areas that need to be addressed but not an exclusive list
- the rights of employers to insist on vaccination or in the case of non-vaxxers, on vaccinations. Can you discriminate or dismiss a staff member on account of their vaccination status
- the rights of employees to insist on working places that recognise both the rights of the vaccinated vs the non-vaccinated. Can vaccinated employees refuse to attend the work place if there are employees or clients or suppliers who are not vaccinated?
- how do you deal with clients and suppliers?
- the right of public assembly? can you prevent a group from attending or using public places due to their vaccination status?
- the right of private places to insist on their entry guidelines
- the right of privacy
- how do you deal with publics events, schools, F & B establishments, shopping centres etc?
Can Immigration NZ require COVID-19 vaccination as part of the entry immigration requirements to NZ?
Think about human rights, civil liberties, employment law, family law, education law – there are so many areas where mandating vaccinations will have an impact.
Come and talk to us and let us help you prepare to deal with these issues in your work place and personal life.