The ‘no jab, no job’ dilemma has taken over the news for the past weeks. Especially when it comes to small business owners that are not sure whether to make the Covid-19 vaccination mandatory or not for their employees.
As New Zealand made the vaccination mandatory for some specific groups of workers, such as airport and port workers that manage aircraft, ports and ships directly, along with the workers at isolation and quarantine facilities and the ones working at the borders, the other groups are left with doubts about the inoculation.
The Mandatory Vaccination Dilemma for Business Owners
Business owners fear that if they make vaccination an obligation for all their employees, they can face legal consequences from the workers that didn’t take it. But at the same time, they worry that the workplace will suffer from health and safety risks as the vaccinated staff will have to work with the unvaccinated ones.
Both options will directly affect both workers and business owners and need to be addressed with care. But the problem is that there’s no official guidance covering the majority of workers in NZ, so the decision is being left for the employers to make.
There’s no clarity regarding the mandatory vaccination for now, and business owners should talk to their employees and make a decision that will be beneficial for all of them. Some small companies have all of their workforce already vaccinated and back to work at full capacity, while others are in talks before making their decision.
Conducting a Risk Assessment Is the Way to Go
While there’s no official guidance from the government, the recommendation right now is for business owners to conduct a risk assessment – and this should be done role-to-role – in order to see if the vaccination requirement is needed.
If the health risks are a bigger concern, then the full workforce inoculation is the way to go. But if the owner sees that he’ll need to remove more than half of his staff from the workplace, then the risks of it should be considered.
Business owners that decide not to make the Covid-10 vaccination mandatory will also have to be transparent with the workers that did take the vaccine and find ways to allocate everyone working together to create a safer workspace. Changing the layout and the ventilation of the workplace can be the best way out.
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Unless there’s an official mandate with clear guidance for each worker’s group, the decision of making vaccination mandatory on the workplace will have to occur between business owners and their employees.