ALDI Australia is proposing safety plans to require Covid-19 vaccinations as criteria for employment.
As an essential service, the retailer says that maintaining the safest environment will continue to be at the forefront of its decision-making.
“We know, with very few exceptions, every Australian should get vaccinated,” says ALDI Australia CEO Tom Daunt. “The heath advice is clear: vaccinated employees are less likely to contract Covid-19 than unvaccinated employees, and vaccinated employees are also less likely to pass Covid-19 on to colleagues or customers.
“Like many across the country, we are excited about the increasing rates of vaccination amongst the Australian population. With those percentages steadily climbing, things are starting to look more and more like normal. And while the hope is that lockdowns will become a thing of the past, we know that Australia’s Covid-19 approach has shifted and we’re entering a new phase of living and working with Covid-19 in the community.
“We only have to look overseas to see the trend in countries with high vaccination numbers and most pre-Covid freedoms restored: Covid-19 cases in the community increased, as did exposures in essential services, like supermarkets, and there was an increase in hospitalisations and ICU cases. If that trend is mirrored here in Australia, we must consider how we continue to protect our teams, wider families, and the communities we operate in.
“With these factors in mind, 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.”
ALDI, according to Mr Daunt, has commenced consultation with all of its employees to gather their input on the 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. We expect this process to take a couple of weeks,” he says.
“There will be a small proportion of our employees with a valid medical exemption who will be excluded from this policy. In these rare instances we will rely on other arrangements to ensure their safety in the workplace.
“Knowing that we are doing everything in our power to keep people safe is what our employees and customers expect from us when they walk through our doors. Moreover, our employees deserve to come to work every day with the comfort and confidence that they are in the safest possible environment. Giving our people the safest work environment is simply the right thing to do.”