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Council Consults Staff On Vaccination Policy

Vaccinations may soon be made compulsory for Hamilton City Council employees as it prepares to move into the Government’s new COVID-19 Protection Framework at 11.59pm on Thursday 2 December 2021.

Council is consulting with staff on a Vaccination Policy from 24 November to 1 December, which recommends that all Council employees who are required to perform their duties at work must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Our purpose at Council is to improve the wellbeing of Hamiltonians and put safety first in all we do,” said Chief Executive Lance Vervoort.

“We know vaccinations provide the bests means of protecting people from COVID-19. We have always talked about the importance of getting vaccinated along with other measures to keep staff safe including infection prevention, mask wearing, physical distancing and working from home, that’s still in place.

“We’ll have more freedom under the traffic light system, but more risk of COVID-19 spreading putting our people, workplaces and facilities at greater risk,” he said.

The Government plans to mandate vaccinations for employees at businesses where customers need to show their COVID-19 My Vaccine Passes. Vervoort said “We must be prepared for this”.

Government mandates apply to several roles within Council in event, education, health and disability sectors.

A Vaccination Policy is being developed and will take into account feedback from Council staff as part of the consultation process. A recent vaccination survey identified 93 percent of respondents were vaccinated and many agreed or strongly agreed with mandating vaccinations. A total of 825 responses were received.

“While many staff will be pleased with our recommendations, we understand it will be distressing for some and it is important they take the time to read the proposal, understand what support is available and feedback,” said Vervoort.

Council has not yet made a decision around whether or not it will mandate vaccinations for visitors to its public facilities including libraries and pools and clarity from the Government is needed. This decision will be made at an extra ordinary Council meeting on 30 November.

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