City of Vernon vaccination policy places six per cent of staff on unpaid leave

6% of staff out over vax

The deadline for staff and volunteers with the City of Vernon to be fully vaccinated against COVID has arrived.

And according to the city, close to six per cent of staff have been placed on unpaid leave for not being vaccinated or for not confirming their vaccination status.

More than 94 per cent of employees have met the city’s vaccination policy requirements, however.

The city says, going forward, it will continue to work directly with employees who are placed on leave. If they choose to receive full vaccination and provide proof of such in a reasonable amount of time, in accordance with policy, they will be able to return to work.

The city announced its proof of vaccination policy on Nov. 1, and all city employees and volunteers engaged in supporting municipal services required proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 by today.

The policy includes provisions for those who require an exemption on the basis of a protected ground, such as for medical or other grounds protected under the Human Rights Code.

“We do not want to see anyone leave our organization. However, we also have a duty to provide a safe environment and take appropriate steps to protect all city employees, those who enter city facilities, and ensure the ability to maintain essential services,” said chief administrative officer Will Pearce.

“This is a vicious virus, and medical authorities have been clear that vaccination is the scientifically established best means to fight the pandemic. Therefore, this policy is a vital addition to the other layers of protection we have in place to protect all of us against COVID-19.”

The city stated it “continues to put business continuity plans in place to monitor staff levels and make daily adjustments as necessary to maintain municipal services as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts.”

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