As Australians line up to collect this week’s first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, agribusiness owners are searching for answers and complain there has been no support and clarification given by government agencies about the launch.
Employers want to know if they should compel their workers to get the vaccine, and can employers guarantee a healthy workplace if their employees chose not to?
Catherine Velisha operates Velisha National Farms in Werribee, near Melbourne, a food picking and packing company, and said she is desperate for more industry-specific information about how to communicate about her vaccination plans with employees.
“As an employer of these people, what do we do with people who are vaccinated and those who aren’t?” she said.
“What are our rights? Do we run two workforces, are we able to make vaccination compulsory?
“We’re frontline workers, being part of the supply chain, so we have to work and Australians need us to feed them.”