Staff at NZ's biggest corporate may soon need to be double-jabbed

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 18 Dec 2021, 1:08PM

Staff at NZ's biggest corporate may soon need to be double-jabbed

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 18 Dec 2021, 1:08PM

All Fonterra workers may soon have to be vaccinated against Covid-19. 

The dairy co-op says it is consulting with employees on a proposal to require all roles in New Zealand to be carried out by people who are fully vaccinated. 

The mandate could also include Fonterra's truck drivers. 

Fonterra is the country's biggest corporate. It employs close to 20,000 people around the world, with 10,000 of those staff members working in New Zealand. 

Some say it's an obvious choice for Fonterra to make all staff get vaccinated against Covid-19. 

Federated Farmers dairy chairman Wayne Langford says if Fonterra's milk wasn't processed or there was a factory shutdown, it would have a major impact on farms and the wider economy. 

He says it's important to keep the whole business running and it's good to see the company is looking at ways to keep food safety and quality as high as possible. 

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealand workers are covered by vaccine mandates. Teachers, health staff and prison workers were among the earliest worker groups to be required to be double-jabbed. An overwhelming majority of teachers and other school staff are vaccinated, according to the Ministry of Education. 

From November 15 all staff at schools and early learning centres must have had at least one dose of the vaccine to help protect them, and the children in their care, against Covid. 
Most teachers were on board with the mandate, but some schools feared they would be hit hard by teachers reluctant to get the jab. 

Data released last month shows the vaccine holdouts are a very small, if vocal, minority. 
The Ministry of Education began asking schools from November 19 for a summary of the vaccination status of registered teachers and other paid staff. Of the schools that responded, 97.6 per cent of teachers had had at least one dose - well above the national rate of 93 per cent of the eligible population. 

An overwhelmingly majority of health workers also chose to get the jab. By the time the rules kicked in for the sector last month, only 1.8 per cent of 80,000 people who work across New Zealand's 20 DHBs had been stood down, resigned or had their employment terminated after not complying with the Government's vaccination mandate. 

Other vocations will also soon be covered by vaccine mandates. All police constabulary staff, authorised officers and recruits will need to have had at least their first Covid vaccination by January 17 and their second shot by March 1 to remain employed. 

As of December 7, NZ Police confirmed 94.1 per cent of constabulary staff had received their first dose of the vaccine and 89.5 per cent were fully vaccinated.