COVID-19 info for members

We’ll keep this page updated with any information relevant to our members.

Vaccine mandates

Workers in the following industries have been given vaccine mandates by the Government:

The following groups of workers will also need to be vaccinated, if their business is participating in the vaccine certificate scheme (i.e. customers need to show their vaccine certificate to access the business/service).

  • Hospitality workers
  • Other close-contact work, such as at hairdressers, gyms, etc.

Many other kinds of workplaces may also be covered by the vaccine mandate based on a new risk assessment process. The details of this are yet to be announced, but we’ll keep you updated.

Check out our COVID-19 vaccination FAQs HERE.

Employers’ responsibilities under the new mandate

As announced on Tuesday 26 October, non-vaccinated workers doing roles that require vaccination will be given a four-week notice period to get their vaccination, before employment can be terminated.

Employers will be required to provide paid time off so workers can get their vaccinations.

They will also need to keep records about workers’ vaccination status.

E tū’s view on vaccination

E tū strongly supports the Government’s vaccine roll out.

We encourage everyone who can be vaccinated to make use of vaccination as a powerful tool that will help to keep our whānau, colleagues, and communities protected, so we can get back to the many parts of our lives that are important to us.

As the Government has now made vaccination mandatory in some sectors, our job is to:

  • ensure E tū members have a good understanding of what the order means
  • ensure your workplace rights are upheld
  • ensure the process employers follow to implement the order is fair.

This includes representation for those who decide not to be vaccinated, or who meet the criteria for an exemption to the order.

We will be advocating for proper consultation with workers about the vaccine requirement as it relates specifically to their roles, and we want to see that workers have access to information and community support regarding the vaccine.

We want to see a fair process for those who cannot be vaccinated. If a risk assessment shows that vaccination is necessary for a worker’s particular role, then an employer should make the best effort to find suitable, alternative work for workers who are not vaccinated.

Expert advice on vaccination

In September, we spoke with microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles and Waitakere Union Health clinical director Siobhan Trevallyan about the Pzifer vaccine.

Check out the conversation below!

Remember your rights at work during COVID times

1. Don’t sign any variations to your contract

Some employers may ask their workers to sign something that changes their employment conditions in response to Alert Level changes, such as agreeing to reduced pay. Do not sign this.

Instead, let them know that you will talk to your union first.

Then contact your delegate, or and E tū organiser by emailing [email protected] or calling 0800 1 UNION (0800 186 466).

2. You shouldn’t lose any pay or have to use your leave during lockdown/Alert Level changes

E tū’s position is that your boss has to pay you for your normal hours of work during any lockdown/Alert Level change.

They should not require you to use any of your leave.

The Government has set up various programmes to help your employer meet their costs, such as as the wage subsidy.

3. The union is here to help with any employment issues you have

E tū is open for calls and emails during normal hours, even at Alert Level 4.

Get in touch with us for any advice or representation you may need regarding anything happening at your workplace.

Contact an E tū organiser by emailing [email protected] or calling 0800 1 UNION (0800 186 466).

Last updated: 27 October 2021