WDC requires staff, visitors to be vaxed

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Waikato District Council staff, and others on council work, have until January 31 to be fully vaccinated to continue in their roles.

Visitors to the council’s corporate offices will also need to show proof of vaccination.

Following a two-week consultation with its staff, the council today announced its new approach to vaccinations for its workforce and visitors to its corporate offices.

“With immediate effect council will require employees, and a range of others, who work in its facilities, offices, or out in the field to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to carry out their roles,” the council said in a statement.

Staff will have until January 31 to comply with the requirement but will not be able to enter council workplaces in the meantime unless they are fully vaccinated.

Visitors to the council’s corporate offices will also need to show proof of vaccination.

Gavin Ion

Council Chief Executive Gavin Ion said a risk assessment carried out across all areas of the organisation showed the inherent risk posed to its people while carrying out their duties was too high if the council did not include vaccination as one of its controls, “alongside all other control measures that are available to us.”

“Our council vision is to build liveable, thriving and connected communities and we believe that implementing this policy for the protection of our people, their whanau, our customers and communities, remains the most important part of us being able to achieve this vision in the world that we now find ourselves living in,” Ion said.

During the consultation, the council heard from around half of its workforce. Of those who responded, 74 per cent agreed with the proposal, 20 per cent disagreed and a further 6 per cent were unsure.

Ion said it was important for the organisation to hear from the staff on this proposed way forward and the overwhelming feedback that came through the consultation process supported the approach.

The policy will be reviewed and adjusted as needed, to reflect up-to-date public health advice and any new requirements introduced by the Government.

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