Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for employees is being adopted daily by more and more public sector agencies and private sector organisations. What should the approach be for an organisation which espouses diversity and inclusion but whose leadership considers that mandatory vaccination is essential?
The issue is fraught with legal, ethical and cultural complexity. The legal questions in Australia are governed by a matrix of interweaving laws including Fair work; discrimination; privacy and WHS.
Symmetra agrees with this writer that the federal government bears the responsibility of passing overarching and specific pandemic legislation to clarify matters as soon as possible. But there will always be the need to cater for exemptions, exceptions and outliers. There are and will continue to be strongly held views that may be irreconcilable. Leaders should prepare to lean into tough conversations. But they must be transparent and always willing to listen.
Embedding a culture of psychological safety for all is paramount and stereotyping or excommunicating those who elect not to be vaccinated without careful and deep consultation is not the way to go. Symmetra is convinced that leaders who can demonstrate the art of inclusiveness will be far more likely to find effective solutions which balance the needs of the greater good with the diverse needs of an individual when faced with addressing these new challenges.