17/09/2021 - 15:20

Aged care resignations over mandatory vaccinations

17/09/2021 - 15:20


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Hall & Prior has given 100 per cent of its residential aged care workforce the first dose of the COVID-19 jab and reported 10 staff have resigned due to the vaccination requirement.

Hall & Prior's Michelle Stirling administering the vaccine to staff member Nadia Badenhorst.

Hall & Prior has given 100 per cent of its 2,000-strong residential aged care workforce the first dose of the COVID-19 jab and reported 10 staff have resigned due to the vaccination requirement.

The aged care provider struck a deal with government to access the national Pfizer stockpile to vaccinate its staff inhouse to ensure it complied with the federal government’s move to ensure residential aged care workers had at least one COVID-19 vaccination by September 17.

Today, Hall & Prior announced 100 per cent of its staff had received the first dose and 79 per cent of staff had received both doses.

According to figures released by Hall & Prior, ten staff members left the organisation because they did not want to receive the vaccine.

Hall & Prior is advocating for all contractors and visitors to residential aged care facilities to be vaccinated, similar to the requirement for compulsory influenza vaccines that was introduced last year.

Fellow provider Brightwater Care Group also set up its own vaccination clinics to ensure its staff could access the jab.

Brightwater Care Group chief executive Jennifer Lawrence said 95 per cent of its staff had received at least their first dose of the vaccine.

Ms Lawrence said a large proportion of the remaining 5 per cent of staff were on long service leave or parental leave.

She said they did not have data on whether any staff had chosen to resign instead of getting the vaccine yet but would know more next week.

Ms Lawrence said no unvaccinated staff member was placed on the roster from 12:01am last night.

“We have planned for this and made sure no-one who is not vaccinated has been rostered on in any of our homes, so we will not see a shortage of staff in our homes directly over the coming days as we do our rosters a fortnight in advance,” Ms Lawrence told Business News.

However, she said a lack of aged care staff remained a concern.

“All aged care providers need more staff and it is important that industry and government work together to make aged care an attractive industry and come up with ways we can get more qualified staff into Western Australia.”

Meanwhile, companies in other industries are weighing up whether to make vaccines mandatory. 

A handful of companies already have, the first being fruit and vegetable processor SPC.

Qantas followed suit, after surveying employees and receiving 12,000 responses which found 89 per cent were planning to be vaccinated and 4 per cent were unwilling to get the jab.

It also found about 75 per cent thought it should be a requirement for all employees to be vaccinated and would be concerned if other employees in the workplace weren’t jabbed.

Virgin Australia has recently finalised its policy for requiring staff to be vaccinated while Telstra has flagged jabs for its instore staff, and Crown Resorts said it was considering a mandatory policy.

Other companies are taking a less heavy-handed approach and offering staff incentives to get vaccinated.

Chevron recently told staff it would donate $100 to charity for every member of the workforce who is fully vaccinated.

Another large corporate, Rio Tinto, is aiming to improve community vaccination rates in the areas it works.

Today, the company, in partnership with the state government, opened a vaccination clinic in Tom Price with the capacity to vaccinate the entire adult population of the town.


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