Regulatory Impact Analysis: Removing prison workers from the COVID-19 Public Health Response Vaccinations Order 2021
Purpose of document
|Decision sought:||Agree to remove prison workers from the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021|
|Advising agencies:||Department of Corrections|
|Proposing Ministers:||Minister of Corrections and Minister for COVID-19 Response|
|Date finalised:||15 June 2022|
In October 2021, Cabinet agreed to include all staff members of a corrections prison, and contractors or subcontractors who provide services in respect of a corrections prison in the Vaccination Order.
Health and disability workers, which included health workers in prisons, were also included in the Vaccination Order. This meant that these workers are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to work in prisons.
This decision was made because people in prison are some of the most vulnerable to COVID-19, due to the ease of transmission that COVID-19 can have in prisons, and the existing health vulnerabilities of the prison population.
From March 2020, Corrections successfully pursued an elimination strategy for COVID-19 in prisons and vaccination requirements for staff supported this approach. However, since February 2022, Corrections has been managing COVID-19 transmission in prisons among staff and people in prison.
Prison workers and health workers in prisons are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, under the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 (the Vaccination Order).
The inclusion of prison workers in the Vaccination Order may no longer be justified and proportionate to the risks posed by COVID-19 in prisons.
Mandatory vaccination requirements impose limitations on rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZBORA), the Human Rights Act 1993 and the Employment Relations Act 2000.