How and why you can request vaccination data for your employees
Last updated: 7 July 2022
On this page:
- Reason for employer requests
- Before making a request
- Discussing COVID-19 vaccination with employees
- Making a request for employee data
There are two reasons an employer may wish to know the vaccination status of their employees.
- A ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBU) has health and safety obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to reasonably provide and maintain a work environment with minimal health and safety risks. A PCBU may ask workers if they have been vaccinated if they can demonstrate a legitimate need to know the vaccination status of those workers. Employment New Zealand: Vaccines and the workplace
- Under the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations Order) 2021, employees in certain sectors must be vaccinated. The order stipulates the requirement of the PCBU to maintain records of employee’s vaccination.
We encourage employers to ask their staff for their My Vaccine Pass or International Certificate before making a request to the Ministry. A request should be made only if your employees are unable to provide evidence of vaccination to you directly.
Before making a request under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 you must complete a health and safety assessment to determine whether a specific job needs to be performed by a vaccinated worker.
This will help you assess the likelihood of your employees being exposed to COVID-19 while performing their role and the potential consequences of that exposure.
If the health and safety assessment identifies a higher risk, it may be appropriate to consider whether the work should be performed by a vaccinated employee.
You can then speak to your employee(s) about providing a record of their vaccination.
If you have determined that a specific role should be performed by someone who is vaccinated, you should discuss this with your employees.
Before the conversation
Before you start the conversation, you should let the worker know their rights.
- If they would prefer to have the conversation with someone other than their manager, they can. You should help organise this.
- They can bring a support person if they wish, such as a union delegate, organiser, Health and Safety Representative or another person.
- They have the right to privacy and are not required to disclose any information.
Ask the worker if they have been vaccinated and if they are willing to show you their My Covid Record, their My Vaccine Pass or their International Travel Vaccination Certificate. If they are vaccinated and agree to show you suitable evidence, conclude the conversation.
If your staff are mandated under the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations Order) 2021, record the details of their vaccination
If the worker says that they have been vaccinated but don’t have a My Covid Record account or pass/certificate, record this and request that they:
- create a My Covid Record account if they haven’t already
- use their My Covid Record account to request a My Vaccine Pass and/or International Travel Vaccination Certificate.
If they are unwilling or unable to create a My Covid Record account, they can provide you with written consent to request their record of vaccination form the Ministry of Health on their behalf.
If unvaccinated or unwilling to say
If the worker says they have not been vaccinated or is unwilling to say whether they have been vaccinated, record this. If they volunteer an explanation, you should make a note of it, but you shouldn’t ask for one.
You should direct unvaccinated workers, or workers who have questions about the vaccine, to the available resources, including:
- an employer-funded visit to their doctor to discuss any concerns about the vaccination. The worker will need to provide evidence for reimbursement of the cost of the visit
- the information available on the Ministry of Health website, Karawhiua, Unite against COVID-19 or other official information
- the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).
If a vaccination is required to undertake the job, you should let them know that they will be contacted about it again.
If the worker says that they want to be vaccinated but haven’t been able to secure an appointment, you should offer to assist them. Bookings are available online at through BookMyVaccine.nz or by calling the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).
You can request information about your employees’ vaccination status from the Ministry using our form.
Once we receive your application, we will email you with the next steps, including detailed information on getting your employees’ authorisation to obtain their vaccination record.
Authorisation requirements vary depending on the rationale for the request.
- If you are seeking the records in compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, you must have individually signed authorisation forms from each employee to access their records.
- If they are mandated under the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations Order) 2021, you can get authorisation by conducting a 48 hour minimum opt-out period.
Employers making a request must maintain record of employee authorisation. The Ministry maintains the right to request proof of this authorisation in the future.
You will also be required to sign a Data-sharing Agreement and complete an Employee Details Template to ensure we provide the correct records.
The Privacy Act 2020 requires the Ministry to respond to a request within 20 working days, however where employees are under the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations Order) 2021, responses will be provided within 5–10 working days.
If you have any questions, please email [email protected]