New Zealand has implemented a “no jab, no job” policy throughout their country, requiring healthcare workers and teachers to be vaccinated against COVID if they wish to keep their jobs. Schools have even been told by the authorities to call the police if unvaccinated staff members show up for work.
Health care workers in NZ will be required to be fully vaccinated by December 1, while educators who teach students in person, as well as anyone working in schools, must be vaccinated by January 1. Educators must have gotten their first dose of the vaccine by today, November 15, if they wanted to go to work without being heavily fined.
The Ministry of Education gave the following advice to NZ schools: “If staff do turn up on site after this date (Nov 15), we encourage school leaders to deal with this in the usual manner you would if other inappropriate people were to turn up on site.”
The statement continues, “If you feel your safety or the safety of [pupils or students] or other staff is compromised, you could consider contacting the police.”
There is some grey area, however, regarding the legality of what the NZ authorities are telling the nation’s workers to do. Some small business owners in New Zealand worry about their ability to force their employees to get vaccines or to disclose their vaccination status. Concern has also arisen about whether this could be classified as discrimination based on ethical/religious/political beliefs.
Prior to August, COVID cases had been rare in New Zealand, but following the onset of the Delta variant and a subsequent spike in cases, the country’s leaders have been sent into panic mode, shutting down the entire nation after one single COVID case was detected. The entire country still has only about 8,000 reported cases.
Now, being unvaccinated in New Zealand is a criminal offense that results in job termination and, potentially, police involvement. In response to these dramatic measures, thousands of NZ citizens have gathered in recent days to protest the vaccine mandates and nationwide lockdowns.