With a team of almost 200,000 and over 3,000 stores across almost every community in Australia, we quickly recognised the important role we needed to play as the COVID-19 pandemic increased.
Guided by health advice and looking for best practice initiatives in nations going through similar circumstances, we adopted proven safety measures and education, to help our teams play their part in supporting health and safety in their communities.
Our efforts were focussed on our 5 pillars: PPE, Health, Hygiene, Cleaning and Social Distancing.
Team temperature checks
We’ve provided equipment and training to team members across our stores and Distribution Centres for voluntary or mandatory temperature checks, depending on the applicable State Government regulation or Woolworths Group policy. All our support sites and distribution centres have thermal imaging temperature checking as a condition of entry.
Supporting vulnerable team members
We’ve provided additional support to our most vulnerable team members following health advice from the Australian Government. We’ve also provided additional paid special leave in places where the Government has implemented a Stage 4 Lockdown.
To support our team in doing the right thing by staying home if unwell, we have offered additional leave for team members who don’t have any. We’re building awareness on symptoms with posters in team rooms. Under Stage 4 restrictions there is a ‘health screening’ process that occurs for every team member on arrival at work, including mandatory temperature checks, and health screening questions aligned to government restrictions.
We have COVIDSafe Handbooks detailing our policies and procedures for all stores across Australia. We implemented in all Victorian stores COVIDSafe plans specifically responding to the guidance and direction of the Victorian State Government. Similarly we have done the same for hotels and cafes across those state and territories where also required under local laws.
Tracking people movement
All store visitors (contractors, service providers, sales reps) sign in to visitor registration. We are currently rolling out a digital sign-in solution to support faster and contactless contact tracing to store.
In addition to mandatory customer checkin processes in hotels and cafes, we have introduced an optional QR code check in process for customers in Victorian and NSW supermarkets to support notification of confirmed cases and enhanced contact tracing should the Department of Health require the same. Those team members who visit multiple sites are required to keep a log of their movements.
All team members who live and work in Stage 4 zones carry a Worker Permit when travelling to and from work.
Zero Tolerance to abuse
All stores display clear messaging advising customers of our zero tolerance policy for team member abuse. We have also provided enhanced team training should any team member suffer abuse and where needed we have engaged additional security to manage potential conflict situations.