Attributed to Tom Daunt, CEO ALDI Australia
“Throughout the pandemic we have actively worked with government and health officials to follow and deliver on every requirement to create the safest working environment for our employees and the safest shopping experience for our customers. As an essential service, maintaining the safest environment continues to be at the forefront of our decision-making.
We know, with very few exceptions, every Australian should get vaccinated. 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. We have commenced consultation with all of our employees to gather their input to our 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.
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.”
We have completed consultation with our employees on our proposed COVID Safety Plan. The results showed that the vast majority of employees who completed the survey declared that they supported vaccination as a requirement of employment at ALDI.
After reviewing this feedback, and following public health and medical advice about the importance of vaccinations in managing the risk of COVID in our workplace, ALDI Australia will move forward with our proposed COVID Safety Plan. From 1 March 2022, a condition of ongoing employment with ALDI will be that employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have a valid medical exemption. This requirement will apply to all employees across stores, warehouse, transport and offices.