COVID-19 Infringement notices

COVID-19 Infringement notices

March 12, 2022

It is important that all businesses in New Zealand comply with current and up-to-date COVID-19 regulations regarding the health and safety of their staff and clientele. Not only for altruistic ‘we’re all in this together’ motivations, but for the very practical reason of avoiding the unnecessary infringement fines for non-compliance.

In late December two companies were issued with Infringement Notices for failing to meet COVID-19 requirements. While they are the first examples of the use of infringement notices in this way it does demonstrate that in extreme cases WorkSafe will use this option.

Oliver MMA, a martial arts and fitness centre in Auckland, knowingly allowed unvaccinated staff to carry out work. The infringement notice carries a fee of $12,000. The company had made their stance known on social media and in comments to media organisations. It was clear that they had knowingly made the decision to ignore the requirements.

Similarly, the Lotus-Heart, a Christchurch restaurant, received combined infringement notices (3) totalling $20,000, also for breaches of COVID-19 requirements, relating to failure to display My Vaccine Pass and QR code, and having no system to check the vaccine status of its customers.

WorkSafe stated that the infringements were issued following repeated attempts to gain compliance.

What COVID-19 business rules can get you fined?

A failure to display signage My Vaccine Pass requirements and a QR code, and

No system to check My Vaccine Pass status of patrons.

Allowing unvaccinated staff to continue working if your business is required to have vaccinated staff.