202 Corrections staff put on special paid leave for a month as vaccine mandates come into force

Time is up for staff at one of the country's first industries to face the impact of vaccination mandates.

Prison staff were due to have their first dose of the vaccine by the middle of the weekend, but more than 200 haven't - and teachers are next, with just one week left until their deadline.

It's getting to the pointy end of things, but some workers in industries impacted by vaccine mandates aren't budging.

"At the moment we've got about 202 staff who have been put on special paid leave for a month," said Neil Beales, Corrections' chief custodial officer.

"What's going to happen now is their managers will be speaking to them across the course of this week and seeking to see whether or not there's anything else we can do."

In October, the Government confirmed those working in prisons would need to be fully vaccinated to continue in their jobs.

Staff were expected to have one dose before Sunday, and now have until December 8 to get both shots, with only a limited number of re-deployment options available.

"If we can't re-deploy people and they still choose not to have a vaccination or not inform us of their vaccination status, then they'll be given a month's notice and unfortunately have to exit the job," Beales said.

But the union says prison employees have had only two weeks to make their decision.

"The idea of the mandate was put in place through the Health Order, which was originally there for teachers and nurses - we got added after the fact," said Floyd du Plessis, Corrections Association NZ president.

"But despite being added after the fact, we were the first ones to go."

On Monday, protestors gathered in the capital while a case against mandates was put before the High Court on behalf of a group of doctors, midwives, and teachers.

The health and education sectors have just one more week to get their first dose.

"This week's actually a really critical week for the education sector because vaccination registers need to be complete by tomorrow," said Scott Haines, vice-president of the Secondary Principals Association NZ.

And a recent change to the exemption process means teachers seeking medical exemption from vaccination will need to reapply.

"Some colleagues are sharing somewhat gleefully that they don't have any staff members who are either refusing to get vaccinated or seeking exemption, so for them it's essentially business as usual," Haines said. "Others are saying eight or nine staff affected."

Staff now left with two shots to decide their future.