Thursday, October 14, 2021

Big four banks split over mandatory vaccines

Coronavirus Mandate Serenity Prayer: lessons learned to date 

Boston suspends 812 workers over coronavirus vaccine mandate. “The city of Boston has suspended 812 employees without pay who didn’t come into compliance with its coronavirus vaccine mandates, leaving the city “implementing contingency plans” as it finds itself short more than 4% of its workforce.”

MANDATES:  United CEO confirms 232 employees are being fired for not complying with its vaccine mandate.

Big four banks split over mandatory vaccines


A split has emerged between the big four banks with Westpac and Commonwealth Bank requiring staff get vaccinated, while NAB and ANZ have stopped short of making the jab mandatory.

The split has occurred along state-lines with the Sydney banks taking a harder line than the Melbourne banks, on the same day as Victoria set a record for coronavirus infections with 2297 cases.

Westpac was out of the blocks quickly on Thursday with a statement saying it would begin consulting with staff ahead of making the jab mandatory, following in the footsteps of SPC and Qantas. Commonwealth Bank is expected to follow suit.

The big four bank CEOs have arrived at different positions on the issue of mandatory vaccination. 

Westpac CEO Peter King said the bank would start a process of consultation beginning with a series of briefings for staff before it tackles issues such as exemptions and what happens next if an employee chooses not to get the jab.

“With a large workforce, it is important that we have the safest possible work environment,” Mr King said in a statement.

NAB has taken a similar position to ANZ citing strong demand from the staff for the vaccine. NAB CEO Ross McEwan took to social media website LinkedIn in August to support Qantas CEO Alan Joyce’s decision to make the jab mandatory.

NAB’s Mr McEwan was among the first CEOs to get behind the push when he told a Parliamentary committee back in April of a plan to use the bank’s headquarters as a mass vaccination hub for the bank’s 30,000 employees.

NAB group executive for people and culture Susan Ferrier said the bank would continue to monitor the situation in each state but for now was happy with the rates of vaccination and the intentions of staff to do so.

“We are continuing to follow federal, state and territory government health advice, including requirements such as Victoria’s where our people must be vaccinated if entering one of our buildings,” Ms Ferrier said.

James Frost writes about banking, funds management and superannuation. Based in Melbourne, James has been reporting on specialist business and finance topics for 15 years. Connect with James on Twitter. Email James at
James Eyers writes on banking, fintech and technology. Based in our Sydney newsroom, James is a former Legal Affairs and Capital editor for the Financial Review Connect with James on Twitter.Email James at