COVID-19 Vaccination Policy - Updated
Young Hunter is committed to protecting all employees, partners, contractors, consultants, clients, and any visitors to our workplace from the harmful effects of COVID-19, as well as minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission within our workplace and wider Young Hunter community.
Young Hunter acknowledges that the risks associated with COVID-19, and the measures that can reasonably practicably be taken to minimise or eliminate those risks, may change over time. As such, Young Hunter reserves the right to review, amend or terminate this policy at any time, following consultation with you.
We intend to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission within our workplace by:
· Requiring all partners, employees, consultants, and volunteers, contractors, and clients who wish to visit our offices to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of our obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (“HSWA”);
· Confirming the COVID-19 vaccination status of all partners, employees, consultants, and volunteers, contractors and clients who wish to visit our premises; and
· Taking all other reasonably practicable steps to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission for partners, employees, consultants, volunteers, contractors and clients.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Young Hunter gives effect to its obligations under the HSWA to eliminate and minimise risks arising from COVID-19 in the workplace for all partners, employees, consultants, volunteers, and contractors, as far as reasonably practicable.
It is intended to keep us safe, and is designed to be aligned to the Government’s objective of minimizing the impacts of COVID-19, and protecting our communities.
At the date of this policy, Young Hunter is not required to comply with a Vaccination Order. However, under the HSWA, Young Hunter is required to eliminate and minimise the risks arising from COVID-19 in our workplace. It is obliged to protect workers and other persons who are affected by our undertakings from harm, so far as is reasonably practicable. This includes taking all reasonably practicable steps to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.
Young Hunter has undertaken a health and safety risk assessment. This assessment has determined that all work undertaken by Young Hunter is “high risk” in terms of the risk of transmitting COVID-19. This is due to the close contact that all Young Hunter employees and partners have with clients and others, who in turn come into contact with vulnerable members of our community.
The Vaccination Order provides that workers who carry out work where services are provided to members of the public and whose role involves being within 2 meters or less of another
worker or a member of the public for a period of 15 minutes or more, is deemed to be high risk.
In this respect the Vaccine Order has informed the Young Hunter risk assessment, and the requirement that all partners, employees, volunteers, contractors, and consultants of Young Hunter will be required to be fully vaccinated to undertake and perform high risk work.
That assessment is also informed by evidence presented in recent decisions of the High Court, which has been accepted as demonstrating both the risk of COVID-19 to the New Zealand community, and the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in preventing symptomatic infection with COVID-19, the harm arising from such infection, the adverse consequences arising from such infection, and the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in reducing the risk of, or preventing, the transmission of COVID-19.
No employee, partner, contractor, consultant, client, or visitor will be able to attend Young Hunter premises or work functions from 13 December 2021 unless they have received at least one dose of the vaccine by 12 December 2021; or from 17 January 2022, unless they have been fully vaccinated by 16 January 2022.
For the purposes of this policy, being “fully vaccinated” means having received all recommended doses of a Government approved COVID-19 vaccine and providing satisfactory evidence of such vaccination.
Disclosure of vaccination status
Young Hunter will ask all existing partners, employees, and prospective employees, to disclose their vaccination status and to provide evidence that they have either received the vaccine or have appointments booked to receive the vaccine, in accordance with this policy.
Young Hunter will request proof of vaccination status on a voluntary basis. The purpose of collecting this information is to enable Young Hunter to comply with its HSWA obligations, and to ensure compliance with this policy. The information will also be used to monitor and assess the risk of exposure to, and transmission of, COVID-19 in our workplace.
Young Hunter employees are not required disclose their vaccination status, but Young Hunter will treat employees (and all those from whom it seeks that information, to meet the purposes of this policy) who do not disclose their vaccination status as though they are unvaccinated.
Employees who have not confirmed their vaccination status before the start of business 13 December 2021 (and any change to it by start of business before the start of business 17 January 2022) will not be able to attend the workplace after 12 December 2021 or 16 January 2022 respectively.
Furthermore, those that have not received a booster by 16 April 2022, will not be able to attend the workplace after 18 April 2022. If there is a medical reason for not being able to receive a booster by this date, this must be identified to the General Manager for assessment. You may be required to show evidence from your medical professional that you are unable to receive the booster by these dates.
Proof of vaccination must be given in the form of evidence from the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Record through the My Covid Record website, verification provided by a medical practitioner or pharmacist, or verification provided through other valid means including The NZ Pass Verifier. This is a free app that businesses and organisations can use to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep their communities safe.
Young Hunter will ensure that all health information provided under this policy is handled in accordance with our obligations under the Privacy Act 2020 and the Health Information Privacy Code 2020.
Effective from the date of this policy, a requirement of employment for prospective employees is confirmation that the prospective employee has been vaccinated or has appointments booked to be fully vaccinated prior to the commencement of their employment. Prospective employees will be required to provide proof of their vaccination status before commencing work at Young Hunter.
Unvaccinated employees, partners, contractors, consultants, clients and visitors
The Vaccination Order provides some very limited exceptions where a worker is not required to be vaccinated. Young Hunter has used these limited exceptions in lieu of any other guidance.
Medical exemptions and vaccine declinature
We are awaiting further guidance from the Government on how medical exemptions will be considered under the traffic light system. Until then, we have made the decision not to hold in-person meetings involving people with medical exemptions, from 13 December 2021. Exemption only applies to employees, partners, contractors, and consultants who have a particular physical or other need which a suitably qualified health practitioner determines makes it inappropriate for that person to be vaccinated. This exception will only apply in limited and exceptional circumstances.
If any partner, employee, contractor, or consultant declines, or is unable, to be fully vaccinated in accordance with this policy, Young Hunter will meet with the worker to discuss what options are available to them.
Alternative work options such as working from home may be made available on a case-by-case basis and/or for a limited period of time only. An unvaccinated employee, partner, contractor, or consultant is not permitted to meet with clients in person. While working from home may be determined to be a reasonably practicable step which may eliminate or minimise the risk of infection or transmission of COVID-19 in the short term, it is not considered a reasonably practicable long-term approach, given the nature of Young Hunter’s business.
Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine
Young Hunter strongly encourages everyone who can to be vaccinated, so as to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 within the workplace and wider community.
Young Hunter is committed to supporting everyone to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine by:
1. Providing timely and accurate information about COVID-19 vaccinations to help you make informed decisions;
2. Actively promoting the vaccines that are recommended by the Ministry of Health;
3. Requiring everyone to comply with this Policy; and
4. Allowing you to attend vaccination appointments during work hours without loss of pay.
We also encourage you to seek your own independent medical advice about the COVID-19 vaccine before receiving it.
This policy is subject to change and will be regularly reviewed having regard to new information provided by the Ministry of Health, the New Zealand Government and best practices during the current traffic light system.
For the avoidance of doubt, Young Hunter will review this policy no later than 25 May 2022, and ongoing reviews will continue as the environment within which Young Hunter operates continues to change. All reviews will be communicated to staff in advance of the review, and staff are encouraged to provide feedback on this policy as and when they see fit.
Employment Relations Act 2000
Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
Privacy Act 2020
Covid -19 Public Health Response (Vaccination Assessment Tool) Regulations 2021
 For example, in Four Aviation Security Service Employees v Minister of Covid-19 Response & Others  NZHC 3012