NZSA security update


The government has provided the following update for business:


About the new Covid Protection Framework

The new Covid Protection Framework (CPF) will support us to keep people safe and minimise the impacts Covid-19 has on businesses and our day-to-day lives. It provides guidance on how we will control any outbreaks, while allowing a high degree of personal freedom and a return to more usual economic and social activity. It will provide clarity, enable more activity, and help us all to plan ahead.

When we have reached the 90% vaccination target, the current Alert Level system will be replaced by the new framework.

The framework has three levels:

  • Green is when there is some Covid-19 in the community.
  • Orange will be used to control spread at low levels when it is present in the community.
  • Red will be used to actively bring case numbers down if needed.

Different parts of the country may be at different levels. We can move up and down the levels. Across all levels, there can be targeted local lockdowns to help stop very localised spread.

A highly vaccinated population allows us to open up domestically. Recognising the protections vaccination offers us, at all levels of the CPF vaccinated people will have greater freedoms than those who aren’t vaccinated. In many cases, this might mean people will need to provide vaccination certificates to enter businesses or attend events, or even to travel between regions. At all levels of the new framework, businesses, retail, public facilities and schools will generally be able to remain open for vaccinated people.

The CPF will allow us to open up internationally. It is the next step on the pathway to reopening our borders and reconnecting people and businesses with the world, as high vaccination levels mean we will not have to rely so much on a tight border to keep cases out. People will be able to isolate at their home or accommodation, reducing our need to rely on MIQ.

We won’t move to the CPF until it is sufficiently safe to do so, until we’re sure our vulnerable communities aren’t put at risk, and until we are ready. We will stick with the current Alert Levels until then and continue to do the preparation work necessary for this change.

Work is underway to develop detailed information about CPF. Cabinet will review vaccination progress on 29 November and further announcements will follow.

For further information please see the Covid-19 website or MBIE website.



Business Support package

The Government will boost payments to businesses affected by higher alert levels as the country transitions to the new Covid-19 Protection Framework.

Ministers have agreed to significantly boost the Resurgence Support Payment (RSP). After the next scheduled payment on 29 October, we will move to fortnightly payments at double the current rate. The enhanced support will first be paid on 12 November and fortnightly thereafter until Auckland is able to move into the new framework.

Currently the RSP is paid at a base rate of $1,500 per eligible business and $400 for each full-time employee up to a total of $21,500.

For the payments starting on 12 November this will be $3,000 per business and $800 per FTE, up to 50 FTEs. This will make the maximum fortnightly payment $43,000.

The enhanced RSP will be available until Auckland moves into the new framework. The Wage Subsidy will continue to be available on the current criteria while areas of the country are still in Alert Level 3.

Because businesses will be able to operate at all levels of the framework, the wage subsidy and the RSP will be reworked to a new targeted payment at the RED level of the new framework.

In addition, Ministers have agreed in principle that there will be a transition payment made available to support businesses when they move into the new framework. Ministers have agreed a $60 million package for business advice and mental health support will be made available to help Auckland businesses through this transition period. Businesses will be able to apply for up to $3,000 worth of advice and planning support, and then receive up to $4,000 to implement that advice through the established Regional Business Partners programme. As part of the package, $10 million is available for mental health and wellbeing support through a programme to be designed with the EMA and Auckland Business Chamber of Commerce.

Final details of the support to be provided under the new framework will be agreed in November.


Covid Vaccination Certificates (CVC)

Later this year everyone in New Zealand will be able to access a scannable QR code as proof of vaccination and Covid-19 test results. The use of vaccination certificates in a domestic setting provides businesses/organisations with more certainty around when they can operate at the different framework settings and whether there are capacity restrictions.

People may be required to show proof of vaccine in a range of public settings such as events, hospitality, retail, community, sport, and faith-based gatherings.  Businesses, events, organisations, community, and a range of sectors may legally implement a vaccination entry requirement for customers.

Everyone must be able to have access to essential services like supermarkets, pharmacies, health services, food banks and petrol stations without having to show proof of vaccine status. There are options in place for people who do not have a smartphone or access to a computer.

There are very few people that are unable to get a vaccine due to medical grounds. An exemption process is in place for these people to obtain certification. For children under the age of 12, there is no requirement to show proof of vaccination.

Should a business/organisation not wish to request proof of vaccine, they will have to operate with strict limits on capacity and space requirements. They may need to close in Orange and/or Red levels.

Detailed guidance is being developed for a range of sectors and we are engaging with them closely on the requirements within the framework, as well as verification of vaccines.


Workforce vaccination

We are actively considering how the framework will affect vaccination requirements for workers.

Generally, a worker does not need to disclose their vaccination status to a business if it isn’t directly required for their work. If work cannot be done by an unvaccinated worker, a business can ask the worker about their vaccination status. If the worker does not disclose (or provide evidence about) their vaccination status, the business may assume the worker has not been vaccinated for the purposes of managing health and safety risks. However, businesses should first inform workers of this assumption, and what will happen if the worker is not vaccinated or does not disclose their vaccination status.

Employees cannot be redeployed or disadvantaged for refusing to disclose their vaccination status.

Some workforces have mandates which mean employees must be vaccinated. The education sector, including early learning teachers and support staff at education facilities, are required to be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022. This does not yet include the tertiary sector. It’s important for teachers and staff to be vaccinated as it provides further protection for our tamariki, particularly those that are unable to be vaccinated (under 12 years of age).

High-risk workers in the health and disability sector must be fully vaccinated by 1 December 2021 and receive their first dose by 30 October 2021.

Border workers, including maritime border and MIQ staff, are also required to be vaccinated and were the initial cohort in the vaccination rollout.

Corrections now require all prison staff, including health staff, and psychologists in prisons and in the community, to be fully vaccinated by 1 December 2021.


Next steps

Further detail on implementation of COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates, including any primary legislation to enable anticipated use.


Further detail developed on progress for the transition plan for Auckland and the rest of New Zealand.


Throughout November
Further advice developed on new testing, tracing and isolation strategies.

Further advice developed on potential new approach to economic supports.

Further work on a revised approach to welfare and community-based supports.


Work continues in operational readiness for a switch to the new approach and its new implementation.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or require assistance.

Stay safe and keep well.

The NZSA team.

NZSA Security update – Fraudulent use of personal/company details

We have been advised by an NZSA member that they have been the subject of fraudulent activity.

The perpetrators have used the names of both the company and company owner, along with bogus gmail email addresses designed to look like the genuine ones, in an attempt to obtain credit from several different suppliers. Information provided also included other companies as referee’s.

Police are conducting investigations but advise they are aware of other companies being similarly targeted and suspect it may be wide-spread.

We recommend additional caution around verification/validation of supplier invoices and that policy should prevent the provision of unsolicited requests for company reference checks.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or require assistance.

Stay safe and keep well.

The NZSA team.

NZSA HR Advisory update – vaccinations & mask exemption cards

We appreciate that business owners and managers are faced with a difficult and continually evolving situation with Covid. There is often a divergence between customer expectations and the need for compliance with Health and Safety, Privacy and Employment legislation.

Success Group, providers for our HR Advisory Service, have provided guidance to some commonly asked questions below. Please note that this is general advice and should not be relied upon or taken to be legal advice for specific situations.

Vaccination Questions

1: Can I require certain roles to be carried out by vaccinated workers? POTENTIALLY – do risk assessment now
Some roles are covered by government Orders, which make it mandatory for particular roles to only be carried out by vaccinated people. New Zealand can expect more industries to be covered by mandatory Orders in the future.

For all other employers, you should undertake health and safety risk assessments of particular roles now to determine:

  • The likelihood of the employees/colleagues/members of the public being exposed to a risk, and how is the risk determined between a vaccinated worker and an unvaccinated worker while performing a role, and the potential consequences of that risk on others (e.g. community spread).

To decide that the work is high risk and therefore needs vaccination for health and safety reasons, businesses must first assess their Covid-19 exposure risk. This applies to work done by all workers, whether employees or independent contractors.

Businesses must involve workers, unions and other representatives in the risk assessment process, and when deciding how to eliminate/minimise risks. Businesses should consider whether other public health measures (eg physical distancing, PPE usage) can minimise the risk of exposure and transmission of Covid-19.

If certain work can only be done by vaccinated workers, businesses should set a reasonable timeframe for workers to decide if they will be vaccinated. If an employee cannot work during this time, special paid leave should be considered, especially in the short term while employers and employees discuss what happens next. Options that can be considered are finding alternative duties or locations for the employee.

If your health and safety risk assessment has determined that employees need to be vaccinated – employers or PCBUs are responsible for making sure your employees meet vaccination requirements, including preventing employees from carrying out certain tasks if they have not been vaccinated. Under a proposed government Order, workers may have to give their employer/PCBU certain information so that their employer/PCBU can meet its vaccination requirements.

Privacy, Human Rights and Health and Safety obligations will need to be balanced – so get legal advice first. Cases in this area are currently before the court.

How to decide what work requires a vaccinated employee – WorkSafe
Public health guidelines for businesses and services – Ministry of Health

2: Can I ask my staff if they are vaccinated?
Some businesses may be able to request staff for information on their vaccination status.

There may be religious or medical reasons why a person cannot be vaccinated. You cannot ask your worker to get vaccinated unless they need to be vaccinated to perform a specific role in your business for health and safety reasons or they are covered by a government Order.

You can ask employees if they have been vaccinated but they do not have to tell you if they have, or why they choose not to. You cannot discriminate against employees who choose not to get the vaccination.

If your employees choose to tell you about their vaccination status, you cannot share this information with anyone without their permission and you must comply with the Privacy Act principles in relation to collecting, storing and sharing this information.

A person’s vaccination status is personal information |

3: Should we introduce a Vaccination/Pandemic Policy?
Most businesses should have a Vaccination/Pandemic Policy in place which covers:

  • Health and safety obligations
  • PPE requirements
  • Mask requirements
  • Sickness expectations
  • Privacy Act compliance
  • Customer expectations / behaviour

A Vaccination/Pandemic Policy and a robust Health and Safety Policy will go a long way to ensuring the employer is properly complying with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and is communicating its expectations and rules properly with its workers.

Points to consider:

  • If a high performing employee refuses to be vaccinated are you prepared to see them leave the business?
  • If a highly valued contractor or client (or just a regular supplier) doesn’t agree with your Policy are you prepared to lose that working relationship?
  • If the employer is introducing the Policy it is their responsibility to provide the information requested by the employee – not the responsibility of the employee to have to find it themselves.

4: Can I require new staff to be vaccinated?
You will need to assess whether the requirement for the role to be carried out by a fully vaccinated worker is justified, and then:

  • Update Employment Agreements; and
  • Ensure other recent changes to employment law (e.g. bereavement leave, sick leave, privacy laws) are also incorporated into the updated Employment Agreements at the same time.

You must ensure you understand your obligations around non-discrimination.

5: How can I support my employees to get vaccinated
A fully vaccinated workforce may help keep your workplace safe from Covid-19. You can help workers make an informed decision and encourage them and their whānau to get the Covid-19 vaccine by:

  • allowing them time off to get the vaccine
  • talking to them about their leave and pay entitlements if they need time off to go to their appointment or if they feel unwell after getting the vaccine
  • respecting their privacy
  • listening to their concerns.

Information from on vaccines and the workplace

Your workers may have questions about the vaccine. You can help them find out more by:

6: Employees may pose the following situations, the Government to date have not provided an answer or guidelines for these (as at 14/1021)

  1. In circumstances where the Employee agrees to being vaccinated due to work requirements and they suffer an adverse effect, whether short, medium or long term, will this be recorded as a work-related accident and reported to WorkSafe (or other relevant authority), the Accident Compensation Corporation and/or any associated insurance policies.
  2. If the Employee requires further and necessary support to manage and cope with any adverse consequences will the Employer provide such support.
  3. If you provide support and paid time off for an Employee to get vaccinated what is their understanding if they then have an adverse effect; paid special leave, sick leave, LWOP?
  4. Which vaccine is recognised by the Company?
  5. Will a booster be required? What does support look like for each booster injection?
  6. Is the intent of a vaccine mandate to protect others who may come in contact with the worker?
  7. If someone with a medical exemption is not required to be vaccinated, yet still allowed in the workplace, why will an unvaccinated worker with similar PPE not be allowed in the same workplace?
  8. Can the demand for the vaccine be accompanied with all of the details that the employee might ask for? Efficacy, long term side effects, contents, adverse reactions, etc
  9. What if the Employee is able to provide proof that there is no evidence that the vaccine has no effect on the transmission of the virus, what are the public health measures that are to be considered?

The information contained in this newsletter is general advice and should not be relied upon or taken to be legal advice for specific situations. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in order to understand the obligations of your business (including in relation to the roles within your business / the industry you are in / the risks your business may be facing).

We have also received questions from our members seeking clarity with regards to security staff being instructed to enforce wearing of face masks when entering premises, such as supermarkets.

Wearing Face Coverings/Exemption Cards

As well as meeting all Alert Level requirements, businesses must continue to comply with all other laws including the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA).

Whilst businesses are not required to ensure people wear face coverings, they may take steps to encourage it, including the use of Security Officers to screen access to their premises.

When considering these steps, businesses must think about how to keep their workers and contractors healthy and safe. This should include what to do if a person becomes angry at the worker who is encouraging people to wear a face covering.
It is also important that workers ensure that they do not discriminate against people with disabilities or health conditions that mean they are unable to wear a face covering safely or comfortably. Whilst these people can get an exemption card as evidence of their disability or health condition, government requirements state they are not required to carry the exemption card or to show it on request.

Our recommendation is that when providing Security Officers to screen access to premises, security providers should work with the customer to establish clear protocols for the Officers to follow. They should include awareness of the rights of those with disabilities or health issues, the available alternatives that can be presented to those who refuse to wear face coverings (such as click and collect or allocated shopping times) and an escalation process for Security staff to follow if customers become angry or aggressive (with a focus on ensuring safety of the officer, staff and other customers).

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or require assistance.

Stay safe and keep well.

The NZSA team.