It’s encouraging to see Wellington topping the first dose vaccination charts, says the Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Business Central.
"The projections show that Wellington is on track to hit our 90% vaccination target of the eligible, over 12 years old, population by November and reflect an excellent effort from Wellingtonians," says Chief Executive Simon Arcus.
"But we can do more - and we must. Today’s announcement of a national day of vaccination on Saturday 16 October, or ‘Super Saturday’ is one way to encourage our communities to get out and get the jab. Of our wider Central New Zealand membership region, Gisborne across to Taranaki and down to Nelson, we have a mixed set of results. We will be encouraging all our members and their employees to ‘get out to get vaccinated’.
"While we back the national day of vaccination, we also need Government to make it easier for business to get their workforces vaccinated. The feedback through our Covid Business helpline shows that vaccination status continues to be a minefield for employers, so we’re joining the calls from the EMA and BusinessNZ to make the carrying of digital vaccine passports to enter the workplace mandatory.
"Our members are doing all they can to keep their workforce and customers safe - we know of businesses like Premier Beehive that have offered all staff and labour hire staff grocery vouchers, have not only given some staff time off to get vaccinated but also organised appointments, and have arranged for an on-site vaccination clinic for staff and families just in the past week. Another member, Steel and Tube, have offered cash, KiwiSaver contributions or company shares if they get both doses of the vaccine by mid-November.
"Government needs to support businesses to keep our communities safe. Under health and safety legislation employers have to provide a safe and healthy workplace - carrying vaccine passports is another way, another tool, to support this. While the Government has made it very clear that’s they won’t mandate vaccinations, there is a policy gap between this decision and how it works in practice. We need clearer guidance and protection for businesses trying to manage and create vaccination policies in the workplace.
"This is especially needed to protect our vulnerable communities, those older, those who are immunocompromised, and for children who are not yet eligible and able to receive the vaccine."