An open letter from Dr Nicky Howe
Today we acknowledge the Premier Mark McGowan and Health Minister Roger Cook announced a new mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy (the policy) for all Western Australians to ensure that when we do eventually open the borders – hopefully sooner rather than later – we are able to do so safely.
The WA Government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate expansion includes residential and non-residential community care services, amongst many others.
Today’s news requires all Southcarers (including volunteers) to have had one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine by 1 December and the second shot by 31 December 2021.
As an essential service and a community care provider, we have proactively actioned this as a priority so that the level of care to our customers can continue to the high standards they expect.
Already some 71% of our workforce is fully vaccinated (this includes home care workers as well as our administration, operations and volunteer teams) and we are tracking those numbers daily.
If any Southcarer now refuses to get the vaccination in line with the mandated timeframes, we will have no choice but to terminate their service with us.
Our recruitment policies have today also been updated to ensure that any new team members meet the vaccination requirement. What that means is that they will only join us as a Southcarer if they can provide evidence of receiving both vaccines (or intent to do so before 31 December 2021).
These are certainly turbulent times, and our hearts are with those that find these constant changes unsettling. Our priority as a carer is to care for our customers and community, as well as our staff.
If you have any questions about our approach and how we continue to use our caring hands to protect and connect as an essential service, please reach out on the details below.
Dr Nicky Howe (she, her, hers)
Chief Executive Officer
20 October 2021