Coles, Woolworths, and Aldi have announced a requirement that staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 over the coming months.
Woolworths and Aldi plan to mandate vaccinations nationwide, while Coles will only require staff in NSW, Victoria and ACT to be vaccinated, with Government health orders requiring staff vaccination in NT and WA.
Coles will require staff in Victoria to have received their second dose by 16 November, and staff in NSW and ACT by 17 December. Woolworths’ proposed timeline for full vaccination in ACT, NSW, NT, Victoria and WA is 31 January 2022 and 31 March 2022 in the other states. Aldi have yet to provide a vaccination requirement timeline.
Steven Cain, CEO Coles Group, said providing a safe work environment for staff and customers alike, has been Coles’ top priority throughout the pandemic.
“We have worked hand-in-hand with health authorities and adopted their recommended safety measures, allowing us to keep our 120,000-plus team members and millions of customers safe.”
Tom Daunt, CEO Aldi Australia, said trends overseas suggested that once freedoms were restored there was a rise in exposures at sites such as supermarkets and that Aldi must consider how to protect their teams, wider families, and communities.
“Our view is that requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the future is the best measure to ensure the health and safety of our teams and our customers. We have commenced consultation with all of our employees to gather their input to our proposed safety plans and the best implementation timeline. Following this consultation and consideration of the feedback provided, we will announce our plans to all employees.”
Brad Banducci, CEO Woolworths Group, said the company has a clear obligation to provide team members with the safest possible work environment.
“We have 170,000 team members across our stores, distribution centres and support offices, and more than 1,200 retail stores. With each store welcoming an average 20,000 customers a week, a single team member can come into contact with quite literally thousands of people in the course of a normal working week.”