Wesfarmers Limited has today announced it will extend its commitment to continue to pay all permanent and many casual workers that are required to isolate or are unable to work due to COVID-19 restrictions until at least the end of December 2021.
Wesfarmers sees this as an investment that provides much needed certainty to team members, their families and our businesses in the lead up to Christmas. Under recent lockdown conditions this commitment is expected to require payroll costs of $2 million to $4 million per week.
“This is an investment in our workforce and is the right thing to do, reflecting the value we place on each of our team members and the importance of them to the future success of our business,” Wesfarmers Managing Director Rob Scott said. “We are focused on the long term and know that this difficult period will pass. Vaccination is our clear path forward.”
The impact of lockdowns on household and business confidence has become more acute as restrictions have been extended.
Wesfarmers will continue to support the health response and vaccination efforts, including among our team members and in our local communities. Every team member working for the Wesfarmers Group has access to paid vaccination leave which they are encouraged to use.
The acceleration of community vaccination programs in Australia and New Zealand is positive, and necessary to enable a progressive return to more normal lives and business activity.
“With higher vaccination rates, the benefits of widespread, strict lockdown and domestic travel restrictions will no longer outweigh the social and economic costs and the impact on mental health and wellbeing,” Mr Scott said. “The best thing we can all do is to get vaccinated, if you can. With vaccination comes greater freedoms to see our families and plan for the future.”