NT Hospitality push to end worker vax mandate

In Customer Service, Featured Home Page News, Northern Territory

The NT Government is under pressure to remove workplace vaccination mandates,  It has been estimated that more than 1000 Territorians were forced out of their job by the mandate and they remain unable to return to work.

Hospitality NT chief executive Alex Bruce said the mandate is holding back the Territory’s full recovery from the pandemic.

“There’s no national consensus on workplace mandates,”

“It’s time for the Northern Territory to ditch the directive and dismantle the mandate going forward.”

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WITH Covid-19 measures across the Territory gradually being dismantled, the NT Government is under pressure to remove workplace vaccination mandates.

It’s estimated more than 1000 Territory public and private sector employees were forced out of their job by the mandate and they remain unable to return to work with the employment freeze in place.

Hospitality NT chief executive Alex Bruce said the mandate is holding back the Territory’s full recovery from the pandemic.

Excluding Western Australia and the Territory, the general workplace mandate was only ever double-vaccination. Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT have lifted theirs and South Australia and Queensland have gone further, removing mandates from workers in vulnerable settings, such as health.

“There’s no national consensus on workplace mandates,” he said.

“It’s time for the Northern Territory to ditch the directive and dismantle the mandate going forward.

“It’s very clear there’s no mandate for the mandate. As we normalise this goes back to where this ought to be with public health focusing resources on vulnerable cohorts not an industry that’s full of fit, healthy Territorians.

“No one can tell us why pouring a beer in a Queensland country pub near vulnerable remote communities is somehow different to pouring a beer in one of our venues around Darwin.

“What is the health difference between sitting in a pub enjoying a beer than standing behind the bar pouring it?

Hospitality NT chief executive Alex Bruce at Hotel Darwin. Picture: Che Chorley

Hospitality NT chief executive Alex Bruce at Hotel Darwin. Picture: Che Chorley

“Ending the workplace vax mandate won’t fix all our workforce shortages but we’re now moving out of the Covid drama and why would Government seek to put additional hurdles on Territorians getting off the couch and getting a job?”

Mr Bruce said Territory employers cannot rely on backpackers to ease staffing shortages in the short to medium term.

He said 40,000 backpacker visas had been issued since borders reopened earlier this year but that only 9000 of those had so far arrived in Australia.

“We’re calling out for all Territorians to consider us for a casual job as a way to get extra cash.”

On Tuesday Health Minister Natasha Fyles lifted close contact isolation provisions for fully vaccinated Territorians.

Minister Fyles’ office has been contacted for comment.

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