Compulsory vaccination policies in New Zealand: employer’s duty vs individual rights


The short answer is “no, it won’t” – not at this time at least, unless you get employee consent, which must be done as part of the usual fair consultation process required with the consent.

To add insult to injury, employers could face potential disadvantage claims from employees worried about returning to a workplace with staff and clients who are not fully immunized, so an employer is damned if he does and damned if he does not, as is the case now bear.

  • If an employer adopts an uncompromising compulsory vaccination program, which prevents unvaccinated people from remaining in employment or in the workplace, this can lead to employee claims for dismissal or undue disadvantage if their employment is ongoing. is terminated or if they think it is harmful. affected. If their refusal is related to grounds protected against discrimination (for example, religion or disability), they can also sue for defamation. Even with the legislation supporting a strict requirement for vaccines, an employee filed a complaint with the authority, but was unsuccessful under these circumstances. Refer to GF v New Zealand Customs Service [2021] NZERA 382.
  • On the other hand, if an employer does not require their employees to be vaccinated, there is a risk that some employees will claim that this means their workplace is unsafe and raise a potential claim for failure to provide a workplace. safe (for example, a claim for undue disadvantage).

People have the right to refuse medical treatment such as vaccines. A person’s immunization status is personal information that is protected by the Privacy Act 2020, so it is essential for an employer to research this information carefully so as not to inadvertently violate these are other legal issues that can throw away a key in the works if an employer does not proceed with caution.

Read more: Nearly two million employees killed each year in work accidents

The solution is simple. The government has a duty to react and oppose this for companies and to make lawful the adoption by companies of an uncompromising compulsory vaccination program, subject to exceptions for medical reasons. Livelihoods matter.