The Federal Government has now mandated that residential care workers must have received at least one vaccination by 17 September. No jab, no work.
However, home care workers have not been mandated beyond having priority in receiving vaccinations.
Village and care operators are telling us this is likely to be catastrophic.
Discussion is that 20% of the workforce failing this requirement would not be a surprise for a range of reasons, but the biggest is young women are saying ‘no’. Their concerns include the potential impact on their ability to fall pregnant or impact on an unborn child.
At the end of last week, just 32% of the residential workforce had received two doses and 50% one dose. Home care workers were only prioritised last Wednesday and so the figures are significantly less.
With 250,000 frontline workers, a 20% shortfall means 50,000 people could elect to leave the sector rather than comply.
Residents say ‘no’
We also hear of villages where the residents are decreeing that non-vaccinated visitors (tradespeople or home care workers) are to be turned away even now. This is a matter of the well making decisions that are impacting the less well.
These challenges may increase significantly come 17 September. Operators need to have developed strategies, policies and procedures by then, and communication programs with residents.
There will be no easy answers.