Sydney, Australia, Oct 14 (EFE).- Two of Australia’s four biggest banks, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank, said Thursday they would require employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
“We recently asked employees for their views on vaccination and received more than 10,000 responses. Pleasingly, 91 percent said they are, or intend to be, vaccinated, with a further 4 percent undecided,” Westpac Chief Executive Officer Peter King said in a statement.
“Like other essential services, banking has remained open during the pandemic to support customers through Covid-19 and with their banking needs. With a large workforce, it is important that we have the safest possible work environment,” he added.
Meanwhile, a CBA spokesperson said that in line with the bank’s “ongoing efforts to protect our people and customers from the health risks associated with Covid-19, CBA will require all employees around Australia to be fully vaccinated,” The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported.
The decision by the two institutions, which will affect some 75,000 workers, comes amid differences over mandatory vaccines for workers in Australia.
Large companies including packaging firm SPC, mining company BHP and flag carrier Qantas have ordered mandatory vaccination of their employees, while some states have also mandated vaccines for some sectors.
Australia is seeking to fully vaccinate 70 percent of the target population in order to start reopening its economy and plans to open its borders in phases starting November.
The country, which has recorded about 133,000 infections and 1,500 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, has already fully vaccinated more than 65 percent of its target population and administered the first dose to 85 percent.
Melbourne, the country second most populated city, is still under lockdown, while Sydney exited lockdown earlier this week after almost four months of confinement. EFE