Keeping Coles team members and customers safe in a new era of COVID normal

21 October 2021

Coles has announced new measures to help keep team members and customers safe as the community transitions to a new phase of living and working with COVID.

Recent statewide and LGA-specific mandates from the Victorian and New South Wales governments have been highly successful in increasing vaccination rates.

Over coming months, Coles will require team members to be vaccinated as a condition of working at any of our stores, distribution centres and other sites in New South Wales, the ACT and Victoria, unless they have a valid exemption.

Government health orders also require Coles team members in the Northern Territory and Coles supermarket team members in Western Australia to be vaccinated in order to work. Coles will work with team members in those states to help them access vaccination so that they can comply with the regulations.

Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said providing a safe environment for team members and customers has been Coles’ top priority throughout the pandemic.

“We have worked hand-in-hand with health authorities and adopted their recommended safety measures, allowing us to keep our 120,000-plus team members and millions of customers safe,” he said.

“As people are able to circulate more freely in NSW, ACT and Victoria, health authorities have warned that COVID case numbers in these states are expected to increase, which also means a higher risk of positive cases visiting our stores.

“We have encouraged and supported our team members to access vaccinations as soon as they became eligible, to reduce the risk of infection for themselves, their colleagues and their families.

“We’ve been pleased with the uptake of the vaccine by our team members, and we owe it to them to ensure that as many of their colleagues as possible also do their bit by getting the jab.”

As part of the new requirements, Coles team members in NSW and the ACT must have received at least one vaccination by 5 November and have received a second dose by 17 December. In Victoria, NT and WA, team members are required to be vaccinated in line with the dates set out in public health orders.

In each state where Coles team members are required to vaccinate as a condition of work, either as a result of government health orders or as part of Coles’ updated COVID safety measures, Coles intends to maintain this requirement as an ongoing policy.

The new measures will help Coles to protect the health of team members in NSW, ACT, Victoria, NT and WA, including those who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, as well as vulnerable family members such as elderly relatives and children who are not eligible for vaccination.

Coles will continue to work with health authorities and team members to strongly encourage the uptake of vaccination in Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, where vaccination is not currently required as a condition of work.

We will continue to review our policies on team member vaccination on a state-by-state basis, in line with changes in the risk of transmission. We will communicate with our team members about any changes to vaccination requirements in their state.
As a designated essential service, Coles will continue to serve all customers regardless of their vaccination status, in line with government requirements.

The vaccination timelines for each state are as follows:

First dose required 22 October 2021 5 November 2021 13 November 2021 31 December 2021
Second dose required 26 November 2021 17 December 2021 25 December 2021 31 January 2022

Keeping Coles team members and customers safe in a new era of COVID normal

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