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Source: Reuters.
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  • Westpac and Commonwealth Bank are making it compulsory for their workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in a move to protect the safety of employees and customers
  • The move will impact around 75,000 staff around Australia
  • Westpac says it would like its ACT, NSW and Victorian staff to be fully vaccinated by December 1, while the other states have until February 1, 2022, with CBA agreeing to similar dates
  • Meanwhile, National Bank Australia and ANZ are currently not planning to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine

Two of the countries biggest banks have announced their staff will need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Commonwealth Bank and Westpac say the mandate is needed to protect the safety of employees and customers.

The move will impact around 75,000 staff around Australia, including thousands of workers in the central business district of Sydney.

Westpac’s CEO Peter King said that the health and safety of Westpac’s people and customers was the number one priority. 

“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,” Mr King said.

“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 in June, more than 3800 of Westpac’s employees have been required to isolate and more than 280 branches have closed and re-opened, causing significant disruption.

Westpac said it would like its ACT, NSW and Victorian staff to be fully vaccinated by December 1, while the other state have until February 1, 2022. Commonwealth Bank dates are similar to this.

“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 in a statement.

 “We also offer paid leave for employees to get vaccinated and to recover if needed.”

A CBA spokesman told the Sydney Morning Herald the mandate was in line with the company’s emphasis on staff and customer safety.

“In line with our ongoing efforts to protect our people and customers from the health risks associated with COVID-19, CBA will require all employees around Australia to be fully vaccinated,” the spokesman said. 

“This follows regular feedback from our employees and customers who want certainty, consistency and confidence as the economy re-opens and life in our communities returns to normal.”

The other two major Australian banks, National Bank Australia and ANZ, are currently not planning to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine.

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