Coles has updated its COVID vaccination policy to help keep team members and customers safe, as the number of positive cases remains high across Australia.
Coles worked with team members nationwide to help them access vaccination as soon as they became eligible, and vaccination uptake was highest in states where it is already become a job requirement.
With the vast majority of Team Coles members now vaccinated against COVID, over the coming months Coles will be requiring all team members who have not yet received the vaccine to do so as a condition of working in the any of our stores, distribution centers and other locations nationwide, unless they have a valid exemption.
This updated policy brings our teams in Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, and our liquor stores in Western Australia, into line with our teams in the rest of Australia where vaccination is already mandatory.
Coles Group Chief Legal and Security Officer David Brewster said the new measure would help Coles protect the health of more than 120,000 members of his team, including those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, as well as vulnerable family members such as elderly parents. and children not eligible for vaccination.
“Ensuring the safety of our team and the community has been our top priority since the start of the pandemic, and throughout 2021 we have encouraged and supported our team members to access vaccines to reduce the risk of infection for themselves, their colleagues and their families,” he said.
“In states where government health orders or our own policy already require vaccination as a condition of employment, we have seen very high uptake of the vaccine by our team members. Extending this requirement to the remaining states will help us ensure that as many people as possible get hit so we can all be safer.
Under the updated policy, Coles team members from Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania must have received at least one vaccine by February 25 and have received a second dose by March 31.
In Western Australia, public health orders already require employees in supermarkets and distribution centers to have received two doses of the vaccine by January 31. Members of the Coles Liquor team in WA will now be required to have received at least one vaccine by February 25 and to have received a second dose by March 31 as a condition of employment.
As we have done in other states where vaccination is already required as a condition of employment, Coles will work with team members to help them understand the updated policy and access vaccination services.
Coles also strongly recommends that vaccinated team members in all states receive booster shots as soon as they are eligible to maintain protection against serious illnesses.
In states where boosters are required under government health orders, Coles will work with team members to help them access immunization services in time to comply with the orders.
As a designated essential service, Coles will continue to serve all customers, regardless of their vaccination status, in accordance with government requirements.
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