World, Asia - Pacific

New Zealand makes COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for workers

Minister for workplace relations, safety says government introducing new law to protect workplaces, workers

Islamuddin Sajid   | 26.10.2021
New Zealand makes COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for workers


New Zealand's government on Tuesday announced mandatory vaccination for workers to stem the spread of the coronavirus, an official said.

In a statement, the country's Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Wood said the government is introducing a range of measures to help protect workplaces and workers from COVID-19.

“We’re mandating vaccination for workers at businesses where customers need to show COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates to make those workplaces as safe as possible and give confidence to staff and customers," Wood said.

Under the new law non-vaccinated workers will be given a new four-week notice period to get vaccinated before employment can be terminated, he added.

“We know that these changes raise questions around what happens when mandated employees refuse to get vaccinated. To provide clarity, a new four-week notice period will apply if their employment is terminated if they choose not to be vaccinated and their work requires it," Wood said.

On Friday, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that her government set a target of fully vaccinating 90% of the population to end strict coronavirus restrictions in the country.

“Fully vaccinated people will be able to reconnect with family and friends, go to bars and restaurants and do the things they love with greater certainty and confidence,” Ardern said.

So far, 87% of the population has gotten the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while around 71% are fully vaccinated.

In the past 24 hours, the South Pacific nation reported 80 new cases, bringing the total caseload to 5,822, while so far 28 people have lost their lives since the start of the pandemic, according to the Health Ministry.

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