The Warehouse considering mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for all employees

The Warehouse is considering making COVID-19 vaccines compulsory for all its 12,000 employees. 

It comes after the Government made vaccinations mandatory for high-risk health workers and school and ECE staff. It later extended the mandate to include prison staff including all psychologists and many contractors. 

On Thursday The Warehouse Group CEO Nick Grayston said the company is holding a 14 day consultation period. The proposed mandate would make vaccinations compulsory for staff by January 1, 2021.

"It's an important consideration for our people and therefore we have begun a 14-day consultation with all TWG employees including our Store, Distribution Centres and Support Office teams," Grayston said. 

 He said The Warehouse is committed to keeping employees and customers safe and vaccines are the best way to do that. 

"The best way for us to do this is by our team being fully vaccinated. We have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace and we will be consulting with our team and seeking their views on a proposed policy to make COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory."

The Warehouse isn't the only company looking at vaccine mandates. Last week Law firm Russell McVeagh and consulting firm PwC announced employees won't be allowed back into the office unless they are fully vaccinated.

"We released our policy because we believed it was the right thing for our people and to do our bit for New Zealand," says Russell McVeagh CEO Jo Avenell.

Both firms say the policy extends to visitors too, including clients who wish to step onsite.

"Our responsibility is to keep all of our people safe. Introducing this policy will enable our people who wish to work from our offices to feel safe coming back into the workplace as government alert levels permit," says PwC CEO and senior partner Mark Averill.

Russell McVeagh's policy takes effect on November 1, while PwC staff have until December 1 to get fully vaccinated.