Covid 19 Risk Assessments
Want a Risk Assessment of your workplace and roles to identify the level of risk with Covid-19? Assess if ventilation and vaccines need to be controls within the workplace? This Risk Assessment could possibly be preparing your business for the future and when vaccinations are more readily available. We can help with this.
At the moment the only practical steps available to employers are:
Conduct a formal health and safety risk assessment of the workplace and roles, focused on the risks posed by COVID-19, the steps that can be taken to minimise the risks posed by the virus and its spread, and incorporate ventilation, increased cleaning and vaccination as control mechanisms. We can assist with this – the objective is to have a proper record for showing why (or why not) certain roles/workplaces would require vaccinations for health and safety reasons. This could then be used as the basis for next steps to be taken;
Consult with all employees to gauge their views on adopting a mandatory vaccination policy – ideally this would be done formally together with providing the reasons why the employer is considering such a move (i.e. the health and safety risk assessment for particular roles/workplaces, as well as information about the benefits of vaccines). However, for a small workforce this may be able to be done informally at first to see if everyone is on board – and if so a less-formal process may suffice
If the employer wishes to implement a mandatory vaccination policy and faces resistance from some employees, then they should proceed carefully in undertaking the consultation process before making any decisions around their employment
If the employer wishes to make vaccination mandatory for new hires, then their recruitment processes and documents will also need to be amended to cover this off and sufficiently explain the reason why (from a health and safety perspective) vaccinations are required and why therefore applicants are being asked to confirm their status. This should also make it clear that an answer is not required, but that a failure to respond will be interpreted by the employer as meaning the applicant is not vaccinated.
Be ready to be flexible to accommodate any changes required as a result of new government or court guidance
OHS Consultants recommend that you also seek legal advice as part of this process if you decide to move forward with it.
Contact us below or call 0800 582 535 to discuss this further with our team.
Government has mandated that vaccination will be required for all workers at businesses where customers need to show COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates, such as event, hospitality, gyms and close-contact businesses. Non-vaccinated workers in roles requiring vaccination will be given a new four-week notice period to get vaccinated before employment can be terminated. Employers to be required to provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated and will need to keep records about workers’ vaccination status.
If workers refuse to be vaccinated 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. OHS Consultants recommend talking to MBIE or employment lawyers about this process prior to termination.
Hon Michael Wood announced that a new law to introduce a clearer and simplified risk assessment process for employers is to follow when deciding whether they can require vaccination for different types of work. This new process won’t override risk assessments that businesses have already done under the existing health and safety guidelines.
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