We recently sent out a survey to our employer clients asking for their views on vaccinations. The findings show businesses overwhelmingly want mandatory vaccinations in all industries, regardless of whether they are deemed ‘high risk’, and that they will take a person’s vaccination status into account when making hiring decisions.

Employment partner, John Rooney said: “It is a challenging time for New Zealand employers who are eager to have their staff fully vaccinated against Covid-19, but without Government legislation on the matter, may face possible legal challenges from employees.”

This week’s Government announcement mandating vaccination for employees in the health and education sector, indicates that some guidance for employers from the Government may be on the way.

Key Vaccination Survey findings include:

  • 69 per cent of respondents want Covid-19 vaccinations to be mandatory for both their current and future employees;
  • 74 per cent of employers confirmed that a person’s vaccination status will affect their hiring choice;
  • 76 per cent of respondents say vaccinations should be mandatory for all industries, not just those that are considered ‘high-risk’, such as health or border workers;
  • 61 per cent of employers want all visitors and contractors to their business vaccinated, while 65 per cent want supply chain workers fully vaccinated;
  • Only nine per cent of employers said they were not concerned about whether a candidate has been vaccinated, which suggests that it may become increasingly difficult for unvaccinated people to obtain new employment.

Rooney says: “Our survey fielded a large number of comments from employers expressing concerns about the possibility of losing staff if they were to make vaccinations compulsory and worried about unfairly discriminating against employees who are not vaccinated, whether that is due to personal beliefs or medical reasons. 

"In the absence of a Government mandate, it is still open to employers to stipulate that certain roles can only be undertaken by employees who are vaccinated. However, it is recommended that any decision to do so follows a risk assessment, consultation with employees and any relevant unions, and considers alternatives to dismissal in relation to employees who decline vaccination.”

The Vaccination Survey was conducted over five days in October 2021, with responses from 219 employer clients to ten questions with options for respondents to add comments.


Related Articles