Paid Notice Period under Covid-19
There is a new requirement for paid notice period when employment is terminated because of vaccination status
The Government has passed legislation to provide a minimum four-week paid notice period when people have their employment agreements terminated because they are not vaccinated, and their work requires vaccination.
This change will only apply to employees who do not have a notice period, or whose notice periods are shorter than four weeks. If an employee has a notice period longer than four weeks in their employment agreement, that will continue to apply.
Other aspects of employment law will not change, including that:
- Employees and employers must continue to deal in good faith.
- Employers must still consider all reasonable alternatives, such as finding other work within the business that does not require vaccination.
- Employees will also be able to dispute any decisions they think are unfair, for example by raising a personal grievance.
This minimum notice period applies to all employees who are not vaccinated, and whose work requires vaccination. It applies to employees covered by a Government vaccination mandate, as well as those whose employers have decided to require vaccination following a risk assessment process.
The termination notice is cancelled if an employee gets vaccinated during their notice period, unless this would unreasonably disrupt their employer’s business. This may include where a small business has hired a replacement employee and there is no other work available in the business.
If an employee loses their job because they decide not to get the COVID-19 vaccination, there may also be support available from Work and Income.
For more information on Vaccines in the workplace, check out Employment.govt.nz