With a lot of talk happening around the country with regards to COVID-19 vaccinations, one bakery chain has taken the step of introducing employee vaccination tracking.
Founder and owner of Pretzel Brittany Garbutt introduced vaccination tracking software to monitor vaccination rates amongst her more than 200 employees back in April and has so far registered two staff members across Perth and Victoria as fully vaxxed (noting that the majority of Pretzel workers are aged 15-25).
Employsure’s VaccTrak software keeps track of all vaccination records, which Brittany believes is going to be super effective in a potential outbreak amongst their team, so they know who is most at risk, who is covered by vaccine and who they need to contact.
“As a company, we are extremely pro-vaccination,” Brittany told Baking Business.
“I kind of believe that we are the forgotten front line—while we do not deal with patients directly, we deal with the whole entire community on a daily basis.
“Anything we can do, especially in Victoria at the moment, we will rearrange the moon to get our kids to their vaccinations.”
Before going ahead, Brittany surveyed staff to get their thoughts, and found that almost all were open to getting vaccinated—in fact, only one opted out.
“We use the app to track what stage everyone is at with their vaccination, who is opting out of vaccinating—the fact is, 99.9 per cent of my 227 staff members across all of my companies are all down to get the vaccination,” she said.
“We would use the data going forward to decided who does and does not work, who does or doesn’t do what roles, and also to manage outbreaks.”
Interestingly, from the survey data Brittany found that it was her Victorian staff members who were more questioning when it came to the subject of getting the vaccine.
“We’re all very gung-ho here in WA, but my Victorian staff do not have the same sentiment,” she said.
“There’s definitely some differences of opinion.”
Initially it was slow going to get the vaccination ball rolling, given all employees are under-30 and until recently, ineligible to receive the vaccine.
Despite her pro-vaccine stance, Brittany said she wouldn’t be making the vaccination mandatory unless the government mandated it, as long as Pretzel could maintain a very high level of vaccination in its stores.
“I really respect my staff and their opinions and their rights to have them, and I only jump in when things become unsafe,” she said.
“I’m happy to support their opinions and feelings and thoughts, but not where it puts them in any sort of danger.
“It’s my responsibility from a risk management perspective, but also the responsibility of my staff personally to take care of their own health.”