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New HR challenges of a "vaccinated economy"

As rates of COVID-19 vaccinations increase throughout Australia, workplaces face a new set of challenges. The emergence of the "vaccinated economy" and the concept of “vaccine passports” can cause upset among some staff and clientele.

The concept of a "vaccinated economy" has been promoted by the Prime Minister and is being adopted by various jurisdictions in Australia as the main avenue away from disruptive lockdowns and towards the reopening businesses and workplaces. This means that COVID-19 vaccination will be a mandatory condition of entry for both workers and patrons at most venues.

In a recent example, the Victorian Premier has clearly indicated that the "vaccinated economy" will remain in place at least for the duration of 2022, with unvaccinated people only being allowed to visit essential stores like supermarkets and pharmacies.

Employers, managers, supervisors and staff across all sectors are having to adapt to the “new normal” of requesting to see a person’s vaccination status, and then following new workplace protocols for denying entry to unvaccinated clients or anyone who refuses to show evidence of their vaccination status.

To address the HR challenges associated with Australia’s new "vaccinated economy",

it is important for employers to consider the following factors:

Communicating with employees and clientele – Have you communicated both verbally and in writing the new compliance requirements with your staff and clients? Have you provided ample opportunity for them to ask questions and voice their concerns?

Updating HR protocols – Do you have a workplace vaccination policy? Have you created a clear process for requesting client vaccination status? Do your client-facing staff understand the process?

Handling complaints & grievances – Is your complaints and grievances procedure up to date? Do you need to provide extra training in this area to your managers, supervisors and HR team?

Mitigating occupational violence & aggression – Have you conducted a new risk assessment to account for the new “vaccination economy” as a potential emotional trigger? What safety measures will you implement to mitigate the risk?

Protecting employee mental health – do you have an Employee Assistance Program and/or a range of mental health support resources readily available for staff who may be triggered by or struggling with stress associated with COVID-19 vaccination issues?

Protecting the personal information of your clients and employee – Is your privacy and confidentiality policy up to date? Do you need to provide extra training in this area to your staff?

WorkPlacePLUS can support you through the HR challenges associated with Australia’s new "vaccinated economy". Learn more:

For more information, please contact us today.