NZ's biggest construction bosses want mandatory jabs for industry's workers

Katie Bradford
Source: 1News

Some of the country’s biggest construction bosses are calling for the Government to introduce mandatory vaccinations for construction workers.

Nearly 300,000 people work in the construction industry.

The Prime Minister said on Monday that the sector is one of those that has had a number of Covid-19 cases.

Naylor Love boss Rick Herd supports mandatory vaccinations, but is calling on the Government to “show leadership” and put that mandate in place. Otherwise, he says, it opens up the private sector to personal grievance and legal issues.

City Rail Link boss Sean Sweeney agrees. He says the company is doing what it can to get all workers vaccinated, including having vaccination and testing centres on or near sites.

A majority of  big companies support the idea, the Building Industry Federation says.

While many companies have incentive programmes in place, industry bosses believe an extra push is needed.

“I think a lot of the construction companies in New Sealand are struggling with legislation,” Julien Leys said.

Track homes completed and incomplete on a construction site.

“Which means that they can't ask their workers or employees if they've been vaccinated. They can't require them to be even though those workers are delivering goods to sites, they've being exposed to building sites. A mandated programme would make it a lot simpler to actually then manage and reassure their customers.. whether they're on site or making deliveries to site.. that their workers are vaccinated.”

The Government says it will be monitoring the vaccine uptake in the construction sector to ensure it is reflective of the rest of New Zealand.

It’s estimated 75 per cent of the construction workforce have had at least one dose, with 45 per cent have received both doses.