Own Woolworths (ASX:WOW) shares? Here’s why the company is in the news

What did Woolworths update investors with? We have the lowdown
The post Own Woolworths (ASX:WOW) shares? Here’s why the company is in the news appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

The Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) share price finished lower today after the retail conglomerate made a move to strengthen its workplace health and safety settings.

At Thursday’s closing bell, Woolworths shares ended 0.88% lower to $39.64.

What did Woolworths announce?

In its latest release, Woolworths has announced its intention for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for its workers.

The new rules are expected to come into effect in the coming months unless public health orders are proposed earlier.

As such, full vaccination will be a requirement in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Victoria, and Western Australia by 31 January 2022. The remaining stores in the other states will need to have their workers vaccinated by 31 March 2022.

This will apply to all 170,000 Australian team members working in stores, distribution and online fulfilment centres, and support offices.

Woolworths advised it will engage with its team to understand any practical and individual issues in meeting the requirement. This will include allowing for legitimate medical and religious exemptions.

The news has also led to rival Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) following a similar path in tackling the issue. It said team members will need to be vaccinated in the coming months unless they have a valid exemption.

What did management have to say?

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said:

We have a clear obligation to provide our team members with the safest possible work environment as we supply the food and essential needs our communities rely on.

With each store welcoming an average 20,000 customers a week, a single team member can come into contact with quite literally thousands of people in the course of a normal working week.

Woolworths Group chief medical officer Dr Rob McCartney added:

The medical evidence is clear — vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19 for our team members. A vaccinated team member is far less likely to get COVID, much less likely to pass it on, and also significantly less likely to become seriously ill.

There is a clear and compelling case for a vaccination requirement to provide the safest possible work environment for all our team members. This is particularly important as restrictions ease and we see higher rates of transmission.

Woolworths expects to make a final decision and release its policy in November 2021.

Woolworths share price snapshot

Over the past 12 months, Woolworths shares have gained more than 16%, and are up around 14% year to date.

Woolworths presides a market capitalisation of roughly $48.03 billion, with approximately 1.2 billion shares on its registry.

The post Own Woolworths (ASX:WOW) shares? Here’s why the company is in the news appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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More reading

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Own Woolworths (ASX:WOW) shares? Here’s why the company is making news this week

Can the Woolworths (ASX:WOW) share price hit $45 by the end of 2021?

Motley Fool contributor Aaron Teboneras has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended COLESGROUP DEF SET. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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