[EMPLOYMENTNZ] ASKING EMPLOYEES FOR VACCINATION INFORMATION
Employers can collect information about their employees’ vaccination status for a lawful purpose
Employers may ask employees whether they have been vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination so long as they consider there is a lawful purpose to collect this information. This could be where work can only be done by a vaccinated worker under a Government mandate, for health and safety reasons, or to meet a vaccination requirement imposed by a third party.
Employees do not have to disclose their personal vaccination status. If they choose not to disclose their vaccination status, employers may assume they are unvaccinated, but must inform workers that they will make this assumption, and what it may mean for their employment, in advance.
Employees cannot be redeployed or disadvantaged for refusing to disclose their vaccination status, unless the work they are doing cannot be done by unvaccinated employees.
Asking if a person is vaccinated in a job interview
Employers can only ask candidates if they are vaccinated if the role could reasonably require vaccination.
For example, if an employer decides that certain work requires vaccination or the work is covered by a Government mandate, it may be reasonable to ask about an applicant’s vaccination status.
Collecting, storing and sharing information about an employee’s vaccination status
Information will need to be collected and handled according to the Privacy Act.
Businesses must take reasonable steps to make sure information about an employee’s vaccination status is collected, used and stored lawfully.
The obligations under the Privacy Act include making sure:
- that workers are aware of how this information will be used
- any intended recipients of the information
- that workers know why it is being collected
- that it is stored securely
- that information reasonable steps are taken to ensure the information is accurate and up to date before it is used.
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