New COVID-19 vaccination mandate

27 October 2021

The Government yesterday¬†announced sweeping new COVID-19 vaccination mandates. Legislation is to be passed urgently that will require all employees at businesses where customers need to show Vaccination Certificates to be vaccinated. This will apply to hospitality and “close-contact” businesses such as hairdressers. It is estimated that once this change is introduced, vaccination mandates will apply to approximately 40% of all workers. Other changes announced today included:

  • A legislated risk assessment process to be applied when considering whether to mandate vaccination in a particular workplace. This is likely to build on WorkSafe NZ’s current guidance.
  • A minimum four-week notice period for workers whose employment is terminated because they choose not to be vaccinated. This is intended to allow a window of opportunity for the worker to reconsider their decision regarding vaccination.
  • Employers will be required to give paid time off work to be vaccinated.


These changes are intended to take effect when the new COVID-19 Protection Framework kicks in.

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