In a move designed to further protect the health and safety of its team, Countdown has announced a proposal to require all roles across the business to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by 10 January 2022.
This proposal has come about as all of Aotearoa continues to respond to the more transmissible Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus and would apply to all Countdown team, regardless of their role or location of work.
Countdown’s Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing, Kiri Hannifin says the proposed requirement is seen as an important next step as the country adapts to the evolving COVID-19 situation and alert level systems.
“Since March last year, we’ve had a number of incredibly robust health and safety measures in place across our business to help keep our team and our customers safe from COVID-19. However, with the Delta variant in our communities and the move away from an elimination strategy, it’s clear to us that we need to look at the further measures available to us to keep our team safe.
“As an essential service, supermarkets will be one of the very few places where proof of vaccination will not be a requirement of entry for the general public. That has the potential to pose a significant health and safety risk to our team and, as an employer, we must reduce that risk as much as we can.
“The medical science is unequivocal – being vaccinated significantly reduces the risk of people contracting COVID-19 in the first place, from passing it on and from being hospitalised or becoming seriously ill from the virus. Our team members are our whānau and we want to make their workplace as safe as we can.”
Countdown will undergo a consultation period with its team to understand any concerns they may have regarding the proposal, to gather feedback and to connect anyone who may be vaccine hesitant with independent health providers before making any final decision about its proposed policy.