Medibank mandates COVID-19 vaccine for retail and office employees

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Medibank has announced it will mandate COVID-19 vaccination for retail and office employees.

The company said it follows an earlier decision to require its frontline health workers to have one or both vaccine doses by 1 November, while team members currently working in residential aged care had a minimum first dose by mid-September in line with government guidelines.

CEO David Koczkar said the decision reflects the company’s role in healthcare and the important role vaccination plays in protecting the community.

"We’ve made this decision to help keep our people and customers safe and to support the immense effort of the nation’s healthcare workers.

“The COVID pandemic continues to have an enormous impact on the health and wellbeing of people. It’s not only about physical health either, with the past 18 months taking its toll on the mental health and livelihoods of so many people. Our nurses are hearing this every day from customers calling our 24/7 mental health line. Vaccination is key to the path out of this and getting back to a more normal life,” said Mr Koczkar.

“We also need to do all we can to protect everyone else in the community - this might be a loved one or a vulnerable neighbour or someone you may not even know.”

Medibank said its retail team members are required to be fully vaccinated by 15 December 2021, while other employees must meet a 31 January 2022 deadline. In addition, Medibank’s executive leadership team and board of directors will be fully vaccinated by mid-October. Only employees who work permanently from home or have an approved medical exemption will be exempt.

“As a company with more than 1,400 health professionals and a broader team focused on health and wellbeing each day, there is widespread understanding of the benefits of COVID vaccination across our business,” said Mr Koczkar.

“Education and communication across our workforce will continue to play an important role, and we are encouraging our people to speak to one of our doctors or their regular GP if they have any concerns. We’ll also continue to provide paid community leave for them to go and get their jab and donate to a charity of their choice when they do.

“We need to look out for each other and play a part in moving forward from this. Vaccination is one way to do this and I’m proud of our people for doing their bit.”