14 October 2021
Westpac Group is today commencing consultation with its Australian based employees ahead of introducing a requirement for employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend a workplace.
This new employment condition helps protect our people and ensure continuity of banking services for our customers.
Westpac CEO Peter King said that the health and safety of Westpac's people and customers is the number one priority. This is especially true as restrictions are eased and people start to move around more freely and therefore our planning is based on more COVID cases in the community.
"We recently asked our employees for their views on vaccination and received more than 10,000 responses. Pleasingly, 91 per cent said they are, or intend to be, vaccinated, with a further 4 per cent undecided.
"Like other essential services, banking has remained open during the pandemic to support customers through COVID and with their banking needs. With a large workforce, it is important that we have the safest possible work environment.
"Since the NSW outbreak started in June, more than 3,800 of our employees have been required to isolate and more than 280 branches have closed and re-opened, both significantly disrupting operations. It is clear that the best way to keep our people safe and stay open for our customers is for people to be vaccinated," Mr King said.
"Westpac was one of the first companies to establish employee vaccination hubs across several locations in NSW, which we are in the process of expanding to reach more employees and their families in other locations. We also offer paid leave for employees to get vaccinated and to recover if needed," Mr King said.
Westpac's consultation period with employees commences today and includes a series of employee briefings. Discussions will include how medical exemptions will be applied and what happens in the event an employee chooses not to be vaccinated.
This will be a national approach introduced in phases. We expect all employees entering a Westpac workplace in NSW, Victoria and the ACT to be fully vaccinated by 1 December 2021 (excluding customers). All employees in other states will be required to be fully vaccinated to attend a workplace by 1 February 2022.