SPC mandates COVID-19 vaccine for workers

Fruit and vegetable processor SPC has become the first company in Australia to mandate the COVID-19 vaccination for its workers.

The Victorian-based fruit and vegetable processor has said it wants its 450 on-site workers to be fully vaccinated by this November.

This follows National Cabinet in June agreeing to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for aged care workers, with their first dose expected by at least mid-September.

As the first Australian company to make the COVID-19 vaccine compulsory for its workers, SPC will act as a test case for the issue.

SPC chair Hussein Rifai told media that the company “believe that the only way that we can get out and protect our employees and our customers, and the communities in which we work is to go to the vaccine.”

He said the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 prompted the move.

The company is set to introduce paid leave for its workers to get the vaccine, as well as up to two days special leave to recover if they become ill afterwards.

It is allowing workers six weeks to book their first dose, or they could potentially be barred from on-site work.

CCIWA Workplace Relations Manager Ryan Martin said businesses could encourage their staff, customers and clients to take part in the national vaccination effort.

“Supporting the Government-led rollout is good for the whole business community,” he said.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce recently said he wanted governments to mandate all airline staff to get vaccinated.

In the US, Google Washington, Microsoft and Delta Airlines are among the companies requiring their staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

For advice and guidance, contact CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or [email protected].

Up-to-date information about COVID-19 in WA can be found at CCIWA’s COVID-19 site.

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