City of Hamilton staff placed on unpaid leave less than expected under COVID-19 vaccine mandate: report

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Published November 12, 2021 at 3:12 pm

The number of City of Hamilton staff placed on unpaid leave is considerably less than anticipated under the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination verification policy. (intheHammer file photo)

The number of City of Hamilton staff placed on unpaid leave is considerably less than anticipated under the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination verification policy.

Initially, senior City staff estimated 317 employees would fail to meet the requirements under the policy. Friday (Nov. 12), the City reported 89 employees (24 full-time, 65 part-time) were placed on unpaid leave.

In Aug. 2021, Hamilton City Council approved the policy, which requires all City employees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Beginning Nov. 4, all unvaccinated employees were required to begin submitting twice-weekly rapid test results under the City’s COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program.

“This program has been running smoothly to date,” said the City in a media release, “with just over 500 employees collecting kits to participate in the program.”

The 89 staff (which represents 1.2 per cnt of the City’s workforce) currently on unpaid leave are spread across multiple departments, but the areas with the most non-compliant staff are in Transit and the Hamilton Fire Department.

“At this point, we are largely able to manage and plan for absences related to the Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Verification Policy through our normal management operations,” said the City.  

Staff added that the City is continuing with contingency planning in order to avoid any service impacts for residents.

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