A photo of Halifax City Hall
Halifax City Hall. Photo: Zane Woodford

Fewer than 145 out of about 4,000 employees of Halifax Regional Municipality are still unvaccinated, and they could be placed on unpaid leave this week.

“As of Friday, December 10, 97 per cent of municipal staff have presented proof of full vaccination, of which 99.5 per cent of Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency (HRFE) and 97.3 per cent of Halifax Regional Police (HRP) have presented proof of full vaccination,” municipal spokesperson Laura Wright said in an email on Monday.

“This means that fewer than 145 municipal-wide employees have not yet provided their proof of vaccination, of which fewer than 15 work for HRFE and fewer than 23 work for HRP.”

The municipality announced its COVID-19 vaccine requirement in early October, mandating employees to be double-dosed by December 15. That deadline has now been extended.

Employees who have shown that they received their first dose on or before November 3 and are on track to be fully vaccinated by January 12, 2022 are in compliance with our internal policy,” Wright said.

While the deadline to be fully vaccinated was extended, employees were required to prove that they got their first dose on time by December 3, or face “employment consequences” starting this Thursday.

This could include unpaid administrative leave beginning December 16, 2021, unless they have received an employer-approved exemption,” Wright said.

“All other individual situations will be addressed on a case-by-case basis depending on the individual circumstances presented.”

HRM’s vaccine requirement didn’t extend to Halifax Water or Halifax Public Libraries, but both organizations implemented their own policies.

According to Halifax Water spokesperson Jeff Myrick, the utility’s employees are required to provide proof of vaccination by Wednesday. He said 96% of Halifax Water employees have provided proof.

Halifax Public Libraries spokesperson Kasia Morrison said the deadline for its employees to be fully vaccinated is February 11, 2022, and “98.6% of employees are either fully vaccinated or have completed at least one dose with anticipated completion by February 11.”

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Zane Woodford is the Halifax Examiner’s municipal reporter. He covers Halifax City Hall and contributes to our ongoing PRICED OUT housing series. Twitter @zwoodford

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