Terminated from your job if you do not get your jab?

October 8th, 2021 - Barbara Buckett

“No Jab, No Job”

This phrase is fast entering the Kiwi vernacular, most recently from the Department of Conservation.  Can you be terminated from your job if you do not get your jab?

Buckettlaw has previously commented on the opposing forces of Health and Safety and Human Rights.

MBIE has recently updated their website with the following:

“Businesses cannot require any individual to be vaccinated. However, businesses can require that certain work must only be done by vaccinated workers, where there is high risk of contracting and transmitting Covid-19 to others.”

It is not clear what constitutes a “high risk.” Without further guidance from the government, employers are left to use their best judgement.

What if all work is high risk work?

For some businesses almost all work may be high risks – rest home workers, drivers, and office workers in close proximity come to mind. An employer can require that this work is to be carried out by vaccinated workers.

If an employee is not jabbed, they would be unable to carry out the work. They would be superfluous to the business. In other words, they are redundant.

Unlike other jurisdictions, the government has not mandated a “no jab no job” rule. What it has done is confirm that unvaccinated workers may pose a genuine health and safety risk in the workplace.

Technically, it is not “no jab no job.” But that may be the effect for many workers.

If you are seeking any covid-19 legal advice or support for employees or employers, please get in contact.

Note: BuckettLaw takes no responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of our articles. Any views expressed or comments made in an article are the writers option only. The content in our articles does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal or expert advice you should obtain specific advice about your case or matter from a professional. For legal advice based on your individual situation please contact us to speak with one of our expert lawyers.

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Barbara Buckett

Barbara Buckett is a highly experienced senior employment lawyer with over 35 years of practice in New Zealand. She provides expert advice on all areas of employment law and has a proven track record of delivering excellent results for clients. Barbara has extensive experience in resolving workplace issues and is an experienced litigator. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, working out, and fine wine and dining with friends.

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