COVID-19 update for the Building and Construction Sector

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New Zealand’s COVID-19 elimination strategy is being phased out in favour of a new model that takes into account vaccination rates. This change in direction will have far-reaching effects on the construction industry and New Zealand as a whole; from vaccination mandates to the opening of our borders. 

Vaccinations and your workforce 

Workforce vaccination is a challenging issue for the construction sector – and for all businesses – and particularly when it comes to legal questions. Some useful resources on this topic are available below:

Employment NZ: Vaccines and the workplace

Ministry of Health and MBIE: Vaccination Q&A for employers

MinterEllisonRuddWatts: Webinar about vaccination on construction sites

Business Leaders’ Health & Safety Forum: Creating a vaccination policy

CHASNZ: Toolbox Talk PDF with vaccination information and resources

How vaccine mandates work around the world 

A wide-ranging government mandate will require workers in healthcare and education to be vaccinated. The mandate will affect hundreds of thousands of workers, including all teachers and DHB staff. It is the strictest requirement yet from the Government’s vaccination push, but is not unique. Mandates for education workers have been announced in the US states of Washington and New York, and in the Australian states of Victoria, New South Wales, and the Northern Territory. Many other countries have announced similar mandates for workers in government roles and key industries. 

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MIQ Self-isolation Pilot 

MIQ is running a six-week Self Isolation Pilot for up to 150 business travellers who will undertake self-isolation on arrival in Auckland or Christchurch. Self-isolation is part of the Government’s 'Reconnecting New Zealanders' plan for re-opening borders and allowing more people to visit and return home to New Zealand without the requirement to enter into MIQ. The Self-Isolation Pilot will test some of the systems and processes that would be needed to roll out self-isolation more widely.

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