How your policy and procedure can bridge the vaccination divide
Covid-19 vaccination is going to be the light at the end of the long pandemic tunnel. In Aotearoa/New Zealand we now have a guide about when we are likely to enter the light.
But is it the light? As vaccinations start to roll out, there’s more public debate about the consequences of not getting vaccinated.
Big issues to resolve
Are we now going to be divided by regulations for vaccinated and non-vaccinated people? What about the ethical and social issues involved?
It’s not looking pretty if we’re facing a future of sanctioned “haves” and “have nots”. Yet, a future with more illness and deaths from Covid-19 and the consequent need for more controls and restrictions in the workplace and other areas looks equally dire.
There’s a lot of issues to resolve. Public discussion about social and legal regulation associated with Covid-19 vaccinations is likely to therefore continue for some time.
Meantime, it’s important that NZ workplaces continue to use pandemic controls. Social distancing and hygiene practices should be adhered to regardless of vaccination status.
It’s also important that workplaces involved in frontline delivery of health and social services get their policies and procedures on vaccination sorted. Last time, we posted some suggestions for what should be covered in your workplace vaccination policy and procedure.
Today, given the prospect of social divides around vaccination, we suggest that another big challenge for your policy and procedure is to address the risks of division and acrimony in the workplace around vaccinations.
Our 3 tips for your workplace vaccination policy are to:
- take a risk-based approach so that any requirements for vaccination will be justified by reference to likely health effects
- support kaimahi/staff to make their decisions on an informed basis
- communicate with kaimahi/staff from beginning to end about the policy. Be open to feedback and to the possibility of making adjustments and changes as you go along.
There’s enough division in the world already. Workplaces have often been a microcosm of social divides. We need to learn from past mistakes, not repeat them.
So be deliberative with your workplace policy. Yes, prioritise the safety of staff and clients. But don’t forget how important our relationships, social cohesion, and respect for rights are.
It’s always a challenge to get the balance right with policies and procedures. But that’s the fun factor of doing policy work for us at the Policy Place (yes we are policy geeks.)
If policy isn’t your thing but you need your workplace vaccination policy done or need all your policies and procedures reviewed and updated, contact us. Choose to be free to focus on what you do best and love and to let us do your policies and procedures.