In a growing trend among Australian companies, casino group Crown Resorts has announced a new policy that makes vaccinations mandatory for its workers. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Australia’s Crown Resorts casino group, which is majority backed by media magnate James Packer, has announced a new policy that makes vaccinations for its workers mandatory.
could also eventually extend to visitors to its properties in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth
Crown made the announcement about compulsory COVID-19 shots for staff on September 13 as part of its “more proactive stance” on vaccinations. The casino giant’s new policy could also eventually extend to visitors to its properties in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth. In its statement on Tuesday, the operator informed that it would “urgently consult its stakeholders and employees” on the shots requirement, which “could apply to all its staff and members of the public.”
According to Australian news site news.com.au, the group’s CEO Steve McCann is in talks with his firm’s 20,000-strong workforce and government departments to start vaccinations at its three locations.
Crown Resorts staff are reportedly “overwhelmingly in support” of vaccinations. A recent survey conducted by management found that 60% were either fully or partially vaccinated.
Crown’s CEO said there was “a need to take measures to help keep people safe,” with its resorts hosting “over 30 million visits a year pre-Covid.”
To sweeten the jabs for jobs policy, Crown staff will now get three hours of paid leave for each shot they get, plus an extra day of paid sick leave. Employees who are already vaccinated can look forward to receiving a AU$50 (US$37) gift voucher.
McCann framed the firm’s new policy against the devastation that COVID-19 caused the hospitality industry, which he said was “felt acutely” by Crown employees.
Crown reported that the pandemic contributed to AU$261.6m (US$190.9m) net loss for the past fiscal year (July 2020 to June 2021) versus a profit of AU$79.5 (US$58m) the year prior.
The CEO said getting on board with national vaccination target rates will help the industry “reopen, stay open and recover faster.” He added: “So we will play our part to help our industry get there.”
Shot in the arm, or foot?
Crown isn’t the only Australian company to take the mandatory shots approach, with Virgin Australia, Telstra, and the national airline Qantas also implementing such policies.
Former Western Australia Senator Rod Culleton recently took to Twitter to share news of a Qantas pilot facing the sack for not taking the needle:
In a report by The Guardian, Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox said the jabs for jobs policy could, however, negatively affect businesses, considering a lack of federal government or regulatory backup.
Crown’s announcement has already shaken its share prices. As reported by The Motley Fool, shares in the casino giant are trading for AU$9.59 (US$7.04), which is a 0.31% drop.
Whether or not the mandatory shots policy negatively impacts Crown long-term, these are not happy times for the Australian gambling group. It has lost its New South Wales (Sydney) casino license, while its licenses in Victoria (Melbourne) and Western Australia (Perth) are also under threat because of corruption allegations.