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Norman Waterhouse

COVID-19: THE CURRENT STATE OF PLAY

2021 has seen a number of new challenges faced by Australian businesses in the wake of the developing COVID-19 pandemic. At its peak we have seen over 60% of Australia in lockdown.

In positive news, however, the mentality amongst our leaders is shifting from the eradication to the mitigation of COVID-19 due to the availability of vaccines. The national plan is to commence opening up restrictions and borders once we collectively reach a vaccination rate of 70-80%.

In an effort to reach this target and ensure the safety of the wider community, many employers have made the decision to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations. For example, in New South Wales, over half of the public sector are now required to be vaccinated to attend work, including teachers, police, construction and airport workers.

SPC, a food manufacturing company based in Shepparton Victoria, has become the first Australian company to mandate the COVID-19 vaccination. Qantas and Virgin Airlines have commenced consultation with various unions to introduce mandatory vaccinations amongst their employees.

Closer to home, Bird in Hand winery in the Adelaide Hills has become the first business in South Australia to require patrons to be fully vaccinated. Many more are likely to follow suit.

It is clear from what is happening around the nation that, moving forward, workplaces will need to implement policies and procedures to successfully mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 and, more specifically, deal with the management of COVID-19 vaccinations amongst its employees, volunteers and clients. Employers need to think about what this direction looks like in the context of their business model, including the impact this may have on various employees and the reasonableness of such a direction.

To assist employers in getting on the front foot, Norman Waterhouse is currently providing its clients with access to the following:

  • Exclusive training on how to effectively manage the challenges of COVID-19 faced in the workplace. For more information or to register, please click here.
  • Policy templates regarding the COVID-19 vaccination and use of face masks in the workplace. These policy templates can be tailored to the specific needs and functions of your organisation.

Should you wish to access one of our policy templates or have any queries regarding the impact of COVID-19 on your workforce, please contact Sathish Dasan on +61 8 8210 1253 or sdasan@normans.com.au or Virginia Liu on +61 8 8210 1279 or vliu@normans.com.au.

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