Cafe fined $20K for Covid breaches

Image: Google Maps
Image: Google Maps

Geraldine cafe Q Foods has been issued $20,000 of infringement notices by WorkSafe for Covid breaches.

The business is the first and only in South Canterbury to face action by WorkSafe for breaches of Covid vaccination certificate rules.

The breaches and associated fees included:

• $12,000 for failing to have systems and processes in place to check each person (including workers) at the premises has a Covid-19 vaccination certificate.

• $4000 for failing to ensure one or more copies of the QR code are displayed in one or more prominent places elsewhere within the workplace.

• $4000 for failing to display in a prominent place at or near the front entrance of the premises, a sign indicating whether the premises is operating under Covid-19 vaccination certificate rules or non-Covid-19 vaccination certificate rules.

The infringements were issued in late February and Q Foods then had 28 days — until early April — to pay the infringement fees.

A WorkSafe spokesman said if the business did not make payment in this time a reminder notice might be issued, which might extend the payment timeframe.

The business also has the right, within 28 days of the infringement notice, to request a hearing to:

• Raise any matter related to the circumstances of the alleged offence for consideration by WorkSafe New Zealand; or

•  Deny liability for the alleged offence and request a court hearing; or

 • Admit liability for the alleged offence but have a court consider written submissions as to the penalty.

Q Foods was approached for comment earlier this week but had not responded by deadline.

Other businesses who have also received infringement notices from WorkSafe are The Lotus-Heart vegetarian restaurant in Christchurch and The Bald Barber in Ashburton.

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