BASS Coast Shire Council has classified its entire workforce as ‘essential’ and will mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for every employee.
The move is believed to be a first for a local council in Victoria and will see 400 staff get their first vaccination by October 14.
Council staff can take time out of their work day to get their vaccination.
Those who don’t get vaccinated without a valid reason by the deadline, will be asked to take annual leave and then leave without pay and will not be permitted to work until they are vaccinated.
All employees need to be fully vaccinated by November 26.
Council CEO Ali Wastie said that the majority of staff had already chosen to be vaccinated.
“We are looking towards summer, the tourist market and seeing our region full of concerts, food and events. Getting the jab is the one thing we can do to get our local economy back on track and our great state re-opened once again,” Ms Wastie said.
Bass Coast Shire’s first vaccination rate for people aged over 15 is currently at 93.9 per cent, with 64 per cent fully vaccinated.
Council recently launched its successful #Vax4Bass campaign, where residents were rewarded with discounts and goods from local businesses when they showed proof of vaccination.