Managing Unvaccinated Employees – Proceed with Caution

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Managing Unvaccinated Employees

Managing unvaccinated employees is an evolving and challenging issue. As at time of writing, we are yet to see the Employment Court rule on any claims against employers who are not subject to Government mandates about vaccination requirements. Make no mistake, the Government has pretty much asked employers to make sure most of the country gets vaccinated, one way or another. But what about the lingering employee or two who do not want to be vaccinated? How can I proceed safely?

Every situation has its peculiarities, but for business owners who:

  1. have done a business risk assessment and need everyone vaccinated to keep them safe,
  2. are open to the public and are using Covid Vaccine Certificates, or
  3. are running out of work available for unvaccinated employees,

we are recommending the flowing broad steps:

  1. Have a relaxed catch up with your unvaccinated staff member(s) and raise the topic of vaccination. Understand why they have not yet been vaccinated.
  2. Explain that you are not challenging their right to choose, but as a business owner you do not have that same luxury.
  3. Give them a time to get back to you.
  4. If after reflection they are still not willing to be vaccinated, begin a robust and consultative restructure process immediately. (Contact us  before going down this track).
  5. Proceed with enormous caution as whenever an employee is exited from a business, regardless of the circumstances, they have a right to lodge a claim against their employer.
  6. Whatever you do, please get professional HR support and advice before beginning this process.

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