Mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations announced for health, and education sector workers
Cabinet has mandated the vaccination of high-risk workers in the health and disability sector by 1 December 2021, and school staff who work with children and students by 1 January 2022.
The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 will be updated to reflect the changes.
Health and disability sector
High-risk workers in the health and disability sector include general practitioners, pharmacists, community health nurses, midwives, paramedics, and all health care workers in sites where vulnerable patients are treated. Also included are certain providers of non-regulated healthcare work, such as aged residential care, home and community support services, kaupapa Māori health providers and Non-Government Organisations who provide health services.
The COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said that the full list of high-risk workers will be released in a few days.
The Order applies to workers in schools and early learning services that have contact with children and students including home-based educators, teacher-aides, administration and maintenance staff and contractors.
Schools and early learning service providers will be required to maintain a vaccination register for staff and support people, and secondary schools will additionally be required to maintain a vaccination register for students.
All school employees in Auckland and other Alert Level 3 regions will be required to return a negative COVID-19 test result before they can return to work onsite. Those not fully vaccinated in the period leading up to 1 January 2022 will also be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
The Minister also signaled that “work is continuing on whether mandatory vaccinations will be required in the tertiary education sector“.
Want to know more?
If you have any questions about the changes, or whether vaccinations can be mandated in your business (which is not captured by the Order) please contact our specialist Employment Team.
PDF version: here.