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Auckland Council consulting staff on a vaccine mandate

Author
Bernard Orsman, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 1 Nov 2021, 2:32pm
Auckland Council is seeking feedback on a Covid-19 mandate for staff. (Photo / File)
Auckland Council is seeking feedback on a Covid-19 mandate for staff. (Photo / File)

Auckland Council consulting staff on a vaccine mandate

Author
Bernard Orsman, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 1 Nov 2021, 2:32pm

Auckland Council - one of the largest employers in the city - has today begun a two-week consultation with staff on introducing a Covid-19 vaccine mandate.

It is asking its workforce of about 7000 for feedback on the proposal to require all employees and a range of people who work for the council to be vaccinated in order to safely carry out their roles.

Council chief executive Jim Stabback said vaccinations played a critical role in keeping all Aucklanders safe from Covid-19 and was the best way of protecting people from the virus.

"In developing this approach, we looked carefully at the risk posed by Covid-19 and the potential ways we can manage it.

"We concluded that in order for our people to safely perform their roles, anyone who works in our facilities, offices, or out in the field, should be vaccinated."

Auckland Council chief exeuctive Jim Stabback. Photo / File

Auckland Council chief exeuctive Jim Stabback. Photo / File

The council has conducted a survey of staff, which found that 91 per cent of those who responded had either their first dose and intended to have their second, or were already fully vaccinated. Another 2.1 per cent said they intended to get vaccinated.

"Over the last few months, we have strongly encouraged our workforce to get vaccinated, and the results of the survey were encouraging," Stabback said.

"However, as we look ahead to the future and think about how we best protect our people when our buildings and facilities begin to reopen, a policy that provides clarity and has health and safety at its core is in the best interests of everyone."

Auckland Council is consulting staff on a vaccine mandate. Photo / File

Auckland Council is consulting staff on a vaccine mandate. Photo / File

The council is working to identify those people and businesses who will have to be vaccinated to carry out work for it, but it will cover people who provide services outside their home to the organisation that requires them to interact with council staff.

Stabback said while the policy is being developed, the council will continue to keep an eye on the Government's approach, and any changes to legislation, on vaccinations.

He anticipates that, following the consultation period and analysis of the feedback, a policy will be agreed in early December.

The policy does not apply to councillors or Local Board members, who have different arrangements to staff, or to council-controlled organisations (CCOs), which have their own responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act.