Australia: Woolies to offer staff paid leave to get COVID-19 vaccine

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a green sign above a store: Woolworths is taking steps to ensure its workers are vaccinated. © Nine Woolworths is taking steps to ensure its workers are vaccinated.

Woolworths is taking extra steps to make sure its workers in stores and distribution centres are vaccinated.

CEO Brad Banducci made the announcement in an email to customers this afternoon.

"It is now clear that accelerating the rate of vaccination in Australia is key to protecting our communities and loved ones and the easing of restrictions," he said.

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"It is also essential to ensuring our teams are able to continue to provide food to Australian communities - something they do with pride every day."

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He said the supermarket chain would be rolling out a number of initiatives, with state and federal government support, to support staff in getting the jab.

Woolworths will establish pop-up vaccination clinics at "key food-related distribution centres" in south-west Sydney to provide teams working onsite access to vaccines.

Store teams in the five most-affected LGAs in south-west Sydney will be able to secure early vaccination appointments at the nearby Homebush Vaccination Centre.

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Mr Banducci said Woolworths would also provide up to eight hours of paid leave for full-time and part-time team members to receive their vaccination.

"These are important steps in helping protect our team so they can continue to provide food for all Australians," he said.

Mr Banducci urged customers to abide by safety protocols while in stores, including checking in with a QR code, maintaining social distancing, and shopping efficiently.

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