Omicron threat prompts contingency planning at council

A vaccine pass is required to enter all staffed council facilities in Selwyn. Photo: File image
A vaccine pass is required to enter all staffed council facilities in Selwyn. Photo: File image
Selwyn District Council senior managers are preparing contingency plans as New Zealand teeters on the edge of an Omicron outbreak.

Murray Washington.
Murray Washington.
Acting chief executive Murray Washington said the district council was adjusting its Covid-19 alert level restriction business continuity plans to ensure it was able to maintain services in the case of an outbreak of the virus among staff.

“Contingency plans include options such as split teams, remote working and alternative methods of delivering services,” Washington said.

Dismissing unvaccinated staff will be a last resort for the district council as it takes steps towards a no-jab, no-job policy.

The district council employs about 480 people. It is reviewing feedback from staff after consulting on its vaccination mandate proposal.

It comes as Christchurch City Council introduces a mandate for its 2791 staff.

Washington said currently all of the district council’s staff required to be vaccinated under the Government’s Covid-19 vaccination health order were fully vaccinated, and all of the senior management team were fully vaccinated.  

In addition, a recent voluntary survey among staff based at facilities where the district council was not currently requiring full vaccination, indicated the majority were fully vaccinated.

“For roles where vaccination is required and a staff member declines and does not have an exemption, we will work with those staff to consider options for them,” Washington said.

This would include alternative working arrangements, modified duties, redeployment or a period of leave.

Staff members ending employment with the district council would be a last case scenario “only where no other arrangement can be reached.”






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