Vaccination assessment tool removed

Businesses should no longer use the vaccine assessment tool for health and safety risk assessments.

After a review of updated public health advice and the release of updated guidance to businesses the vaccination assessment tool has been removed.

Updated 12 May 2022

The vaccination assessment tool was introduced in December 2021 to give employers a simple tool to assess whether they could require vaccination for specific work. The vaccination assessment tool was provided for in the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccination Assessment Tool) Regulations 2021.

COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccination Assessment Tool) Regulations 2021(external link) — New Zealand Legislation

Since then, the risks associated with COVID-19 have changed and updated public health advice is that vaccination requirements are now likely to be appropriate only where there is a greater risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 in the workplace than there is in the community. 

The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccination Assessment Tool) Regulations 2021 were formally revoked on 12 May 2022.

Businesses should no longer use it for health and safety risk assessments. The information that was previously available for the tool will remain in an archived format on business.govt.nz.

For businesses that have validly implemented an employer vaccination requirement using the vaccination assessment tool, any employment decisions (such as terminating the employment of unvaccinated workers) that have already been made based on this will still stand.

Employers may still be able to maintain vaccination requirements, however these requirements would need to be supported by a full work health and safety risk assessment. The circumstances where vaccination could be required are likely to be more limited than they have in the past.

More information about conducting a full work health and safety risk assessment can be found here:

COVID-19 controls at work - employer vaccination requirements and other measures(external link) — WorkSafe New Zealand

Vaccines and the workplace(external link) — Employment New Zealand

Any employer currently involved in an employment process based on a vaccination requirement that was put in place using the vaccination assessment tool is recommended to pause that process. The employer should then undertake a full work health and safety risk assessment to take into account the current public health advice before proceeding with any further employment processes.

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