New Zealand Law Society - COVID-19 Response Policy - Access to Premises and Contracted Event Venues

COVID-19 Response Policy - Access to Premises and Contracted Event Venues

This policy is to establish and communicate the position of the New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa (Law Society) regarding our COVID-19 response and vaccination for people who access Law Society Services. 

1. Purpose

This policy is to establish and communicate the position of the New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa (Law Society) regarding our COVID-19 response and vaccination for people who access Law Society Services. It is based on our obligation to provide a work environment without risks to health and safety, so far as is reasonably practicable. This obligation includes eliminating or minimising, so far as is reasonably practicable, the risks associated with a pandemic. The risks from exposure to an infectious disease like COVID-19 may be reduced by full vaccination. This policy aims to assist the Law Society to assess and manage employee exposure to COVID-19, and thereby meet or exceed its obligations under current legislation.

2. Scope

This policy applies to:

  • Contractors, suppliers, and visitors who engage with the Law Society employees

3. Policy

The Law Society is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of its employees through the introduction of effective measures from the available organisation and public health resources, to protect employees as far as is practicable.

Fully vaccinated means holds a current and valid vaccination certificate or vaccine pass.

We recognise and respect that some people may be granted a medical exemption or decide not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This does not override the requirement under this policy, that all contractors, suppliers, and visitors must be fully vaccinated.

4. Responsibilities

Contractors and Visitors

All contractors, suppliers, and visitors are responsible for:

  • Ensuring they are fully vaccinated; and
  • following public health orders and protocols; and
  • complying with Law Society instructions, guidelines and/or protocols in each workplace or contracted event location. If there is a difference between the Law Society and event protocols the higher level of protection will apply; and
  • managing their own personal wellbeing and protecting the safety of others through basic hygiene, mask wearing (as required) and not entering premises or contracted event venues if you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms.

Employees

All employees are responsible for:

  • following public health orders and protocols; and
  • complying with Law Society instructions, guidelines and/or protocols in the workplace or contracted event venue. If there is a difference between the Law Society and external event venue protocols the higher level of protection will apply; and
  • reporting any non-compliance to a manager or team leader; and
  • managing their own personal wellbeing and protecting the safety of others through basic hygiene, mask wearing (as required) and staying home when sick.

Managers and Team Leaders

All Managers and Team Leaders are responsible for:

  • ensuring that contractors, suppliers, and visitors are aware of the procedures and requirements of this policy and adhere to them to keep themselves and others safe.
  • report and/or act when they become aware of any non-compliance by any person, by drawing that person’s attention to the restrictions and requirements of this policy.

The Board and Executive Leadership Team (ELT)

The Board and ELT are responsible for:

  • ensuring a safe and healthy work environment as far as is practicable and reasonable, introducing policies such as this are part of that responsibility.
  • remaining informed of vaccine, protocol and legislative changes in Government and Ministry of Health guidance.

Policy owner

A policy owner is responsible for:

  • ensuring all policies within their control are written in accordance with the CE1: Policy and Procedure Development and Maintenance.
  • actively monitoring their policies and associated procedures to ensure they remain up to date.
  • maintaining knowledge of all relevant legislation and regulations.
  • promulgating their policies and associated procedures in accordance with policy review dates.

Executive Leadership Team (ELT)

The ELT is responsible for:

  • reviewing and endorsing additions to, and major changes in, Law Society policies prior to approval by the Chief Executive.

Chief Executive

The Chief Executive is responsible for:

  • authorising policies following the consultative process.

5. Procedures

The COVID-19 virus has been circulating as a global pandemic for almost two years. During this time the New Zealand Government’s response has been to isolate and eliminate the virus when it has passed through our borders with quarantine, lockdowns, and alert levels. The New Zealand Government has
now moved to a new strategy of protection through vaccination and the  introduction of the COVID-19 Protection Framework, to minimise the health impacts of the virus and reduce the spread. There may still be occasions where regional lockdowns may occur under the original alert level system and the alert level protocols will apply under these circumstances.

In conjunction with the COVID-19 Protection Framework (aka traffic light system) the Law Society is implementing this policy and a range of procedures and requirements to enable us to operate continuously and effectively at all levels of the Protection Framework.

From 3 December 2021, contractors, suppliers, and visitors who are unvaccinated will not be permitted to enter Law Society premises or contracted event venues. Protocols for entry into each Law Society premise will be displayed at the entrance and will include requirements to QR scan (or manually sign in), declare your vaccination status and be fully vaccinated to gain entry. Alternatively, unvaccinated people may be asked to meet virtually or arrange an appointment where requirements can be met for a safe face to face meeting and/or the contactless handover of documents (if required).

Protection Procedures

Our protection and prevention procedures come from four key actions:

  • Vaccination
  • Hygiene - handwashing, sanitising, coughing etiquette, regular cleaning and clearing of common areas
  • Mask wearing (when required under the Protection Framework)
  • Social distancing (as required under the Protection Framework) Protection Requirements

All contractors, suppliers, and visitors will follow Public Health orders, Law Society and contracted event venue protocols and policies. These requirements include:

  • Vaccination (as required by this policy)
  • QR code scanning or manual recording
  • Presentation of COVID vaccine certificate or vaccine pass
  • Wearing masks (as required)
  • Stay away, please do not enter (if you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms)

Vaccination

Our primary protection is now moving to vaccination. With vaccines available and proven to be highly effective against COVID-19, the Law Society now requires all contractors and visitors to be fully vaccinated to enter Law Society premises or contracted event venues.


QR Codes and Vaccine Passport Certificates

QR code scanning and sign in registers are currently mandatory for all businesses and events. The Government is introducing a vaccine certificate and vaccine pass system to allow all businesses certainty of operation under the COVID-19 Protection Framework. A vaccine certificate or vaccine pass issued by the Ministry of Health under the COVID-19 Protection Framework will be required for entry into all Law Society and NZLS CLE events.


Mask Wearing


Wearing an appropriate mask is an important action that people can take to protect their own safety.

The Government requires masks to be worn in some locations and public places, this varies according to the COVID-19 alert level or the COVID-19 Protection Framework traffic light colour that applies at the time. The Law Society has additional requirements for mask wearing as set out in our COVID-19 protocols which can be viewed on Manawa and at the entrance to each office. Other businesses may have their own protocols and requirements which employees are expected to follow.

Stay Away

If you have cold or flu like symptoms, you must stay away until you are symptom free and have a negative COVID-19 test. Do not attempt to enter Law Society premises or contracted event venues as you may be refused entry.

In-person Events, Meetings and Dinners

The Law Society regularly holds many in-person events, meetings, and dinners with members of the profession and other third parties.

It is the Law Society’s responsibility to keep employees and attendees safe at such events and to minimise the spread of COVID-19 during these gatherings.


For in-person events, meetings, and dinners held by the Law Society the following restrictions and requirements will apply, in addition to those set out in the COVID-19 Protection Framework:

  • QR codes must be displayed and used by everyone at the venue and physical registers to be available for anyone who cannot scan the QR code.
  • People must confirm their vaccination status by presenting and/or verification scanning of their vaccine passport certificate on entry.
  • For in-person events, all supplier employees, and contractors (caterers, security, presenters etc) must be fully vaccinated and comply with all safety requirements and any Government COVID19 restrictions that apply.
  • All suppliers will be notified of the COVID-19 protection restrictions and requirements prior to engaging their services and asked to provide confirmation of their agreement to comply.
  • All Law Society employees attending or working at an in-person event must be fully vaccinated.
  • Attendees must be notified in advance of the restrictions and requirements, including the need to be fully vaccinated, and that vaccination status will be validated on entry. Any attendee that does not provide a valid vaccination passport/certificate at the entrance, will be considered unvaccinated and will be refused entry.
  • If you are attending a meeting, event or dinner that is not at the Law Society’s premises, you will need to comply with this policy and any COVID-19 policies that the organisation responsible for the venue may have.
  • Consideration will be given, if it is practical to provide an alternative method of attendance for participants where requirements or attendance limits may restrict or prohibit in-person attendance.
  • Restrictions and requirements will be clearly displayed on posters at the entrance to the venue.
  • Shared surfaces are cleaned and sanitised before and after the event.
  • Consider how to provide good ventilation considering the resources available, e.g. opening windows.

Authorisation
Approved by
Joanna Simon
Chief Executive
Policy owner: Peter Bell, General Manager People & Culture
Approval date: 01 December 2021
Next Review: 01 December 2023

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