Deadline day: Christchurch City Council's vaccine mandate set

All roles will need to be carried out by vaccinated staff as of today

Deadline day: Christchurch City Council's vaccine mandate set

The Christchurch City Council's jab mandate is set to take effect on today, with workers required to be fully vaccinated as the world continues facing COVID-19 and its variants. In a policy approved on December 30, the council decided that "all roles are required to be carried out by vaccinated worker," with the mandate also covering future new hires.

"Council will be entitled to discontinue an application/recruitment process subject to an applicant's vaccination status," the policy read.

According to the policy, unvaccinated employees will be engaged with by the council, which may take the following steps:

  • discuss in good faith the results of the council's COVID-19 Risk Assessment
  • outline the timeframe for when the work will only be able to be undertaken by vaccinated workers
  • offer another opportunity for the employee to provide feedback
  • offer further support to be vaccinated
  • outline the consequences if they do not meet the deadline
  • explore alternative options, such as changing the employee's role, redeployment, or termination if no suitable rules are available

The policy read that in situations where an unvaccinated employee may need to carry out the work of the vaccinated staff, the council will "consult the worker on their specific options … as the nature of the work may create additional risks to an unvaccinated person."

Read more: Christchurch ends contract with 'The Wizard'

Council Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale said in a statement the policy reflects the risk of COVID-19 and its variants, and how the council should be prepared for potential outbreaks.

"Our work on this vaccine policy has been very thorough, but it needed to be given its significance in the ever- changing environment we currently face regarding COVID-19," she said.

Baxendale said the draft policy on the mandate saw the feedback of 400 staff, with 71% saying they "wanted greater protection in the workplace."

It underwent refinement following the initial survey, two rounds of consultation, as well as additional assessments, advice from experts, and review of relevant research, added the chief executive.

"These are challenging times. As an organisation, we will do all that is reasonably practicable to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, our elected members, our contractors, and our residents," Baxendale said.

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