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Legal Challenge against Vaccine Mandate for Home-Based Care and Support Workers

Home care mandates news

On 1 September 2022, a group of home-based care and support workers commenced a High Court challenge against the vaccine mandate that prevents them carrying out care and support work for their loved ones.

Background

Family members who provide care and support for their children or other family members can be eligible for payment from the government. This financial support is critical to those who are dedicated to caring for their loved ones.

These care and support workers often live with the people they care for, and the vaccine mandate makes no difference to the contact they have with their loved ones. The only effect of the vaccine mandate is that it prevents much needed financial support that the care and support worker would otherwise be entitled to.

On 6 November 2021, the government amended the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 to impose a vaccine mandate on care and support workers who were engaged to provide care within a home or place of residence.

The government decision to impose a vaccine mandate on home-based care and support workers means that external caregivers may need to visit the home and have contact with people who need care, which will increase the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

In early August 2022, the care and support workers wrote to Minister Ayesha Verrall, expressing concern and asking her to remove the vaccine mandate for home-based care and support workers. There was no response from the government and the mandate remains in place.

Matthew Hague, lawyer for the care and support workers said:

“It is well established that vaccine mandates limit the rights of those affected. There must be a clear justification for a vaccine mandate, and in the case of care and support workers who care for loved ones in their own homes, there is no justification.

“There is no safety benefit because home-based care and support workers often live with those they care for. The only effect of the vaccine mandate is that families no longer receive much needed financial support for caring for their loved ones.”

“In early August we asked the government to review the vaccine mandate for home-based care and support workers. The government did not respond or even acknowledge our request, and so our clients have no option but to ask the High Court to intervene.”

“The home-based care and support workers affected by the mandate love the family members they care for. The government decision to withhold financial support is cruel and unjustified.”

What is happening

A group of five home-based care and support workers have applied to the High Court for judicial review of the vaccine mandate that applies to them.

There are potentially hundreds of home-based care and support workers, who because of the vaccine mandate, can no longer receive financial support to care for their loved ones.
The High Court has been asked to declare the vaccine mandate that applies to home-based care and support workers is unlawful, because it is an unjustified limitation on the rights of those affected.

Why are you doing it?

Home-based care and support workers know the importance of keeping their loved ones safe.

The vaccine mandate has no safety benefit because home-based care and support workers will continue to live in the same house with those they care for. The only effect of the mandate is that families no longer receive much needed financial support for caring for their loved ones.

Members of Parliament have had the freedom to decide whether to be vaccinated without legal risk to their income. Home-based care and support workers deserve the same.

Why don’t they get the vaccine?

The group bringing the challenge supports the right of all New Zealanders to choose whether to be vaccinated.

This case is not about being “anti-vaccine”. The home-based care and support workers who are challenging this mandate care about the health of all New Zealanders.

By making the vaccine mandate in the way that they have, this government has turned what should be a health issue into an issue of fundamental human rights.

Image credit: Kampus Production

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10 COMMENTS

  1. This just confirms how evil this government is. Let me say that again EVIL and again EVIL
    I am reluctant to draw comparisons with the Holocaust except to say I saw an interview recentlly with Tova Friedman. A holocaust survivor at the age of six. I have ordered her new book Daughter of Auschwitz. In her interview it was easy to draw comparisons regarding the crimes of humanity orchestrated by the Nazis and the uncaring and evil policies of the current government.
    They need to be bought to trial!

  2. Interesting development, but I wonder how the Employment Court case of CSN v Royal District Nursing Service New Zealand Limited [2022] NZEmpC 123 impacts this. In the CSN decision, the Employment Court held that it would be “absurd” to interpret this group of family carers as being covered under the Vaccination Order, as it doesn’t prevent or limit the spread of COVID-19. While I’ve been successful in getting backpayment on a case-by-case basis, I wonder if the High Court action will be able to get a more broad-sweeping order that these people are entitled to backpayment. I guess time will tell.

    • Hiya Ashleigh,
      Interestingly, on the 25 August, the provider who administers my man’s Individualized Funding sent him an email to say he can now resume paying me as his carer. (He had to terminate me as his carer last November as neither of has partaken of the Pfizer Wonderjab.) From the email:

      “There is a rule change now regarding the vaccine mandate that the intent wasn’t for family members to be disadvantaged by this and the court has said it was unfair. It applies to the family carers living at the same address as the person receiving supports.

      On this basis your [unvaccinated partner] could restart work and be back paid to her last day of work.”

      We did get just a little bit excited…but came back down to earth… and asked for some official documentation from the MOH or Government to prove such a “rule change”.
      There is none…the providers were informed about this at a meeting… and they too were insisting on something in writing from the PTB.

      We are all still waiting.

      Well done winning that case in the Employment Court Ashleigh. Tell me, is there a right of Appeal? How long does one have to file an Appeal?

  3. This needs to be publicised overseas – only the crucible of international publicity will expose the spite of Ardern’s policies.
    As Orwell put it:
    “War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.”
    He could have added:
    Spite is kindness

  4. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11175537/Tragic-image-24yo-dies-Bali.html

    Heartfelt sympathy to this young woman’s loved ones and friends.
    Another unexpected death.
    How many more people will die needlessly like this?
    How much suffering will this cause?
    This is precisely why very many people did not want the COVID 19 mRNA gene therapy injection, many of whom this government persists on punishing for their very wise and highly informed decision of bodily autonomy.

  5. How can the government mandate a trial ‘vaccine’ that doesn’t reduce infection or transmission, and that has such an appalling safety profile. This is clearly unlawful, immoral, unethical and frankly downright stupid.

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