Covid-19 Delta outbreak: The Warehouse considers mandatory vaccinations for all staff by New Year’s Day

Retail giant The Warehouse is considering making vaccinations compulsory for all its team members by January 1, 2022.

The Group’s chief executive Nick Grayston said it had begun a 14-day consultation with all its employees including staff in distribution centres and support office teams.

The NZX listed company, which owns The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming, Torpedo 7 and TheMarket.co.nz, employs about 12,000 staff across New Zealand.

Last week the Government announced a mandatory vaccination order for hundreds of thousands of health and education workers.

According to the Talbot Mills Research poll, 79 per cent of those polled agreed with a vaccine mandate for health workers, while 72 per cent agreed to one for teachers.

There was majority support for such a mandate across many workforces, with the highest support being for frontline border workers (79 per cent), people flying overseas (76 per cent) hospitality workers (71 per cent), supermarket staff (70 per cent), and people flying within New Zealand (70 per cent).

Grayston said most workers within the business involved a high risk of contracting or spreading the virus and the vaccination was an important part of managing the risk associated with Covid-19.

“Based on expert advice, we have also formed the view that the best way to keep our employees, our customers, and the wider communities we operate in safe is for all The Warehouse Group (TWG) employees to be fully vaccinated and we are considering this as a requirement for our team,” Grayston said.

Prior to consulting with its employees, the Group had already actively supporting its staff members to get vaccinated by offering various kinds of incentives.

“By offering on-site workplace vaccinations, as well as a one-off incentive payment of $100 to all fully vaccinated employees across the Group, which includes approximately 12,000 employees across New Zealand,” Graystonsaid.

The best way for us to keep the community healthy and safe is by having our staff fully vaccinated, he said.

“We have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace and we will be consulting with our team and seeking their views on a proposed policy to make Covid-19 vaccinations compulsory by January 1, 2022 for all team members.”

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