No jab, no job: staff back mandatory vaccinations

The employee sentiment study found 76 per cent of workers believe Australia’s economic recovery is contingent on a successful vaccine rollout.
The employee sentiment study found 76 per cent of workers believe Australia’s economic recovery is contingent on a successful vaccine rollout.

Three in five workers say employers should mandate Covid-19 vaccinations a condition of being in a workplace, a new study reveals.

The survey of more than 1000 workers also finds nearly half would feel uncomfortable working alongside unvaccinated colleagues.

The employee sentiment study conducted by software company ELMO finds 76 per cent of workers believe Australia’s economic recovery is contingent on a successful vaccine rollout, but just two in five think the rollout is on track.

And it reports a decline in job security in the last quarter, which has seen uncertainty across the nation with jurisdictions moving in and out of lockdowns.

ELMO Software chief executive Danny Lessem said employers would need to carefully consider their policies around mandating the jab in the coming months, . “We are already seeing different companies take different approaches to managing vaccination requirements,” Mr Lessem said.

“It’s far from a cut-and-dried matter and will require employers to be able to engage in transparent one-to-one communication with their employees.

“The vaccine rollout is an important issue for workers’ perceptions of economic security, with 76 per cent stating the economy will only return to normal if the rollout is successful.

“The message from Australian workers is clear – to kickstart the economy we need to kickstart the vaccine rollout.”

The survey, conducted in late June, also revealed a sharp drop in perceptions of job security over just the past three months.

In the March quarter 55 per cent of those surveyed said they felt their jobs were secure, a figure that fell to 47 per cent in the June quarter.

Perceptions of economic security also fell, from 30 per cent of people saying they felt economically secure in March to 19 per cent in June.

Workers were also feeling more burnt out as this latest outbreak in the eastern states started to take hold, up eight points from March to 42 per cent.

And there was a 10-percentage-point increase in workers who said they felt overwhelmed by the volume of their work.

“Employees feeling burnt out, unrecognised for their efforts and insecure in their jobs is a dangerous combination for employers,” Mr Lessem said.

“With large parts of the economy experiencing a skills shortage, workplaces can’t afford to lose employees.

“Yet the risk of losing good workers is greater now than it was at the beginning of the year.”

Those workers able to work from home say they intend to do so for two days a week over the next three months, the survey finds.

Victorian workers are twice as likely as any other state to say they will work from home five days a week over the next three months, at 15 per cent of the total.

In New South Wales and the ACT that proportion is 8 per cent, in Queensland and South Australia 7 per cent, Tasmania and the Northern Territory 6 per cent and Western Australia 5 per cent.

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