'Government has listened and responded with a system that will provide clarity'
Employers across New Zealand are happy for the "clarity" that the government provided when it mandated vaccinations for select businesses. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday announced that workers at any business that requires a vaccine certificate must be fully immunised against COVID-19. The mandate covers 40% of the workforce, including staff at hospitality venues, hairdressers, and gyms.
The Auckland Business Chamber welcomed the policy, saying that businesses wanting to keep their workplaces safe will be "pleased and relieved" by the government's action.
"Business has certainty and clarity now that they can protect their workplaces," said Michael Barnett, the chamber's chief executive officer.
According to Barnett, the policy is a "strong signal" from the government that employers "need to be thinking about workplaces and employee safety."
"I believe that not just employers, but employees will increasingly demand workplaces are protected against the spread of COVID," he said.
Previously, a survey from the chamber revealed that an overwhelming 90% of small and medium enterprises want mandatory workplace vaccination.
"Government has listened and responded with a system that will provide clarity, simplify the risk assessment process for employers when deciding whether they require vaccination for different types of work and determine a four-week notice period for non-vaccinated workers to get their jabs before termination," said Barnett.
"This new approach will be supported by legislation," he added.
Meanwhile, Retail NZ also lauded the recent mandatory vaccinations for the sector.
"Retailers are working hard to keep their people and customers are safe, and most will be pleased that the Government is providing more certainty to businesses," said Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford in a statement.
However, Harford said that more detail is required, and Retail NZ is willing to work with the government in ironing out details on the risk assessment framework.
"Retail NZ also thinks it is important that the Government protect employers from the risk of legal action by disgruntled employees. We will continue to seek the support of the Government on this," Harford said.