Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

Rotorua's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, one of many recent visits to vaccination centers to encourage more people to get the hang of it.

Christel Yardley / Stuff

Rotorua’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, one of many recent visits to vaccination centers to encourage more people to get the hang of it.

Jobs that are considered “public facing” in council may soon be filled only by those who have been double-vaccinated against Covid-19.

This is the reality that most public offices face, as the debate over whether to have compulsory vaccination arouses interest.

It was also driven by a perception that the government was moving away from its elimination strategy with a big push on its October 17 vaccination campaign.

Covid-19’s march south out of Auckland prompted the Waikato District Council to “gather information” on mandatory vaccination.

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Waikato Regional Council CEO Chris McLay said mandate vaccination was a complex issue.

Tom Lee / Stuff

Waikato Regional Council CEO Chris McLay said mandate vaccination was a complex issue.

Council people and capacity manager Vanessa Jenkins said the council reviewed the first decision made by the Employment Relations Authority, which decided whether an employer could only require a job performed by a vaccinated worker.

This case involved an employee from Customs New Zealand who worked as a border protection officer.

The customs and health review of the customs service assessed that the role was at risk of exposure to the virus. In parallel, the Covid-19 Public Health Vaccination Order said people in “front-line roles” should be vaccinated.

The employee refused the vaccine. Other roles were investigated to reduce the risk, but no agreement could be reached and her employment with the customs authorities was terminated.

Georgia-May Gilbertson / Stuff

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited Ruatoria on Saturday as part of a regional tour to promote the government’s Covid-19 vaccination program.

The employee appealed, but the authority found in its decision, published in late September, in favor of the customs authorities.

Jenkins said the council worked with unions to determine which roles had a higher risk profile for Covid-19 than others.

“They are the ones in society who interact with the public in contrast to the roles of the house, where they do not have it. [physical] public interaction and are less risky. ”

Jenkins noted that candidates applying for jobs asked what the council’s position was on vaccination.

“Many do not want to work for an employer who will mandate it.

“But vaccination is only a tool we can use to protect. Mask wearing, PPE, social distancing are the other layers of safety. ”

Waikato Regional, Hamilton City, Waipā and Matamata-Piako District Councils all said they encouraged staff to be vaccinated but had no plans to make it mandatory.

“Imposing vaccination in the workplace is a complex issue that must balance individual rights with our obligation as an employer to take all reasonably practical steps to create a safe workplace,” said Regional Council President Chris McLay.

E tū union organizer Mat Danaher says training is the best way for employers to work with their staff on the benefits of vaccination.

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E tū union organizer Mat Danaher says training is the best way for employers to work with their staff on the benefits of vaccination.

“We are awaiting guidance from the government and LGNZ on these issues.”

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said everyone should be vaccinated.

“But the issue of making vaccines mandatory is something for the government, not afford, to consider.”

E tū union organizer Mat Danaher said the union does not support compulsory vaccination because people should have the right to “body autonomy”.

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate says the government, not council, should make decisions on mandatory vaccination.

Christel Yardley / Stuff

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate says the government, not council, should make decisions on mandatory vaccination.

“But we think vaccination is a good thing. So we need to provide education and the correct information to people, to solve their worries and reduce the number of hesitant workers. ”

This was the method used by the union and the Ministry of Business Employment and Innovation to ensure that MIQ employees were safe.

“It’s about identifying roles that can only be performed safely by vaccinated workers and the other lower-risk roles that non-vaccinated people can do.”

Danaher said there could be some situations where it was not possible for people to work unless they were vaccinated, and employment “termination” was the only option.

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