The arrival of the COVID-19 Delta variant means Aotearoa faces new risks that have a significant impact on the continuity of our professional engineering services.
TM Consultant’s work is critical to Aotearoa. We need our business to be well prepared and able to avoid disruptions due toCOVID-19 so that we are in a strong position to deliver our country’s ambitious work programmes across the construction, residential, education, health, transport and other sectors.
We also have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment. We work collaboratively and go to many places as part of our daily work, not just the office – including visiting schools, hospitals, retirement care, clients’ offices, consent agencies, other consultants and partners, contractors, public and hospitality venues and more.
We will regularly assess COVID-19risks and respond accordingly, for the safety of our people, clients and communities. This will also support business continuity.
Our position is that vaccination is a necessary part of our defense against COVID-19. The uptake and use of vaccinations are central to TM Consultants’ COVID-19 response planning.
We must proactively protect our people, clients, and communities, and ensure we can keep delivering for Aotearoa. The very nature of our work requires we provide safe spaces for open, engaging, collaborative teamwork. Proactive risk assessment and adaptive response means there will be times when access to offices or sites will necessarily be restricted to vaccinated workers only, to avoid potential harm to those in the workplace, our clients, and communities. We know some people do not wish to be vaccinated or are uncertain about vaccinations, and we acknowledge that some people cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. TM Consultants respect individual rights.
How Aotearoa responds to COVID-19 will continue to evolve. As providers of professional engineering services, we are committed to enabling a safe network of people and places across our offices in Aotearoa.
We are in this together and we will get through this together.
1.0 What is our vaccination requirement?
Once the COVID-19 Protection Framework is enacted on 2 December 2021 – at 11:59pm, all of New Zealand will move to the framework, full vaccination will be required for anyone other than employees wanting to access TM Consultant’s offices under the Red and Orange levels of the COVID-19 Protection Framework. This includes clients, suppliers and all visitors who visit our offices and facilities once the COVID-19 Protection Framework is enacted.
TM Consultants Limited employees who are not vaccinated will be required to either:
1. Permanently wear an effective facemask whilst occupying any TM Consultants’ facility and/or vehicle. Or
2. Work effectively from home.
Whilst occupying any TM Consultants’ facility and/or vehicle, any employee who is not vaccinated:
1. Shall be required to maintain social distancing of 1m.
2. Shall not be permitted to remove their mask – this means the consumption of food and beverages will be required to be taken external to the building and/or vehicle if the mask is required to be removed for said consumption.
Grace period for staff:
1. Staff who have received their first vaccination by 2 December 2021 – at 11:59pm, will be able to enter TM Consultants’ facilities and/or vehicles as if they were fully vaccinated.
2. By 17 January 2022 – at 11:59pm, staff who have had their second vaccination will be able to enter TM Consultants’ facilities and/or vehicles as if they were fully vaccinated. Those who have not will be required to comply with the unvaccinated employee restrictions above until the second vaccination is administered.
2.0 What does “vaccinated” mean?
That you have a valid COVID-19 vaccine certificate produced by the New Zealand government.
3.0 Why have we decided to do this?
To take all practical measures to provide a safe working environment and prepare TM Consultants to operate safely under the COVID-19 Protection Framework, as there is an increased risk of community transmission at Red and Orange.
4.0 Why have we chosen this option?
The risk of community transmission is greater under Red and Orange. This option balances the risk that COVID-19 will enter and spread around our workplaces with impacts on our culture, ease of implementation, client requirements and business continuity requirements. It is inline with the New Zealand Government’s approach in other industries that are subject to stronger mandates.
5.0 How did we make this decision?
Asper Government guidance, we have taken a risk-based approach and developed specific risk assessments for access to our offices and facilities under the new COVID-19 Protection Framework.
These assessments consider where there is no vaccination requirement and a vaccination requirement and the resulting:
→ Risk of exposure is the risk of COVID-19 entering a workplace and being passed on (transmission)
→ Risk of transmission is the health risk to the individual if they catch COVID-19 in the workplace (risk to the individual)noting that the consequence of health risk is based on the individual’s vaccination status and underlying health conditions
We considered these risks together, then considered:
→ Cultural impacts
→ Ease of implementation
→ Impact on clients and suppliers
→ Need to continually adapt
→ Business continuity requirements
→ Feedback from our people (need, timebound, care, inclusion)
6.0 How long will the vaccination requirement be in place?
We don’t know for sure. We will enact this measure while the COVID-19 Protection Framework is in place and will be led by Government requirements and changes tothe COVID-19 Protection Framework.
We will review our approach prior to any part of the country moving to Green, and at three-month intervals.