In a recent AFR article, Deloitte has issued a mandate “forcing” Deloitte Australia’s employees and partners to be vaccinated in order to return to the office.
It’s certainly a highly charged and contentious issue, with other overseas recent news indicating a New York healthcare provider fired 1,400 employees who refused to get vaccinated, and another article confirming teachers may be required to be vaccinated.
It’s understood in Australia that many of the previous leaks of coronavirus into the community have come through lapses in strict coronavirus protocols, and the initial steps in vaccinations are likely to involve firstly front line troops on the fight against coronavirus, then this is likely to be rolled out to previous areas where contagion has spread (service employees), and other travelling employees.
So it’s an interesting call for Deloitte to be the frontrunner in the mandate for vaccination, as accounting is generally not considered any of the above high risk areas.
However, it does bring confidence into the workplace to know that all colleagues in the workplace are vaccinated, given the higher risk unvaccinated employees can bring to the workplace.
Understandably, Australian accounting firms need to balance the need to provide a safe and healthy working environment, while at the same time recognising not all individuals can (or want) to be vaccinated. As recent news has shown, this is a complex and conflicting issue, with apparently no ideal solution. But in the face of high vaccination rates in Australian society, it’s likely the issue will follow overseas solutions, with those non-vaccinated likely to be excluded in some way from full participation in society, or required to complete more complex procedures to participate in society.