Coles updates vaccine policy to help all team members stay safe


Coles has updated its policy on COVID vaccination to help keep team members and customers safe, as positive case numbers remain high across Australia.

Coles has worked with team members nationally to help them access vaccination as soon as they became eligible, and takeup of vaccination has been highest in states where it has already been made a requirement of work.

With the vast majority of Coles team members now vaccinated against COVID, over coming months Coles will require that any team members who are yet to receive the vaccine do so as a condition of working at any of our stores, distribution centres and other sites nationally, unless they have a valid exemption.

This updated policy brings our teams in Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, as well as our liquor stores in Western Australia, in line with our teams in the rest of Australia where vaccination is already required.

Coles Group Chief Legal and Safety Officer David Brewster said the new measure would help Coles to protect the health of its 120,000-plus team members, including those who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, as well as vulnerable family members such as elderly relatives and children who are not eligible for vaccination.

“Keeping our team and the community safe has been our top priority since the pandemic began, and throughout 2021 we encouraged and supported our team members to access vaccinations 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 requires vaccination as a condition of work, we’ve seen very strong 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 the jab so we can all be safer.”

As part of the updated policy, Coles team members in Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania must have received at least one vaccination by 25 February and have received a second dose by 31 March.

In Western Australia, public health orders already require supermarket and distribution centre workers to have received two doses of vaccine by 31 January. Coles Liquor team members in WA will now be required to have received at least one vaccination by 25 February and have received a second dose by 31 March as a condition of employment.

As we have in other states where vaccination is already required as a condition of work, Coles will work with team members to help them understand the updated policy and to 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 their protection against serious illness.

In states where booster shots are required under government health orders, Coles will work with team members to help them access vaccination 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 line with government requirements.

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