During the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major impacts on the workplace. Job losses, shifts to work-from-home arrangements and personnel shortages have created significant challenges for businesses (and their staff).
While it may seem like the worst of the pandemic is behind us, the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt in the workplace – causing a continuing headache for both workers and employers.
Some recent developments shed a light on the ongoing effects of COVID in the workplace which businesses should be aware of.
This includes the controversial topic of vaccine refusers and the number of employees-workers who have been expected to pick up the slack for sick or isolated team co-workers.
Personnel shortages and vaccine refusers
One of the key challenges for businesses in the COVID era has been replacing workers who have resigned or been let go. While problems with staff retention and recruitment can sometimes be beyond our control – particularly in such turbulent times – personnel shortages have placed a significant strain on the workforce.
Some employees have quit because of their frustration over how their employers have dealt with the fallout of the pandemic and its continuing impacts on the workplace.
Jonathan Mamaril from NB Lawyers notes that employees who are in isolation and working from home – either due to a COVID diagnosis or being identified as a close contact – have also caused problems for co-workers. Mamaril suggests “this is putting extra pressure on the other staff who have to cover the leftover work.”
There also appears to be growing frustration because the workforce is expected to take on more work because a co-worker refuses to be vaccinated for whatever reason. Indeed, vaccine refusal has become a challenge for many workplaces where the employee refuses to comply with vaccination requirements and is dismissed as a result.
Some of those dismissed employees have lodged unfair dismissal claims. While the Fair Work Commission has mostly upheld such dismissals, it is expected the problem of vaccine refusers may continue to cause problems for employers.
The great resignation and the great poaching
For you as a business owner or manager, it is important to take these issues seriously – particularly considering recent trends like the ‘Great Resignation’ and the ‘Great Poaching’.
Growing employee frustration – including those at senior management levels – over how their employers are managing the pandemic effects appears to be contributing to the ‘Great Resignation’ of Australian workers.
While these trends cannot be solely attributed to employer management of these factors, Mamaril suggests other factors are playing a part – e.g. lack of timely replacement of key personnel and the additional strain this is placing on workers.
Significantly, resignations from managers, senior employees, and executives appear to be on the rise. Mamaril notes that among his company’s clients, there has been a 20% rise of “key personnel resigning from their positions” since January this year.
Other businesses are also capitalising on this frustration to entice workers away from rival companies. This ‘Great Poach’ is seeing frustrated senior employees being lured away by other businesses – a dangerous development for businesses that are struggling to retain key workers.
Akyra’s key takeaways
While the lingering effects of the pandemic have created challenges that may be difficult to address, it is important to be aware of the dangers of not dealing with these problems in a timely manner.
A growing number of workers (including those at senior levels) are either resigning or being poached by rival businesses because of their frustration at how their employers are managing the effects of COVID in the workplace.
Ensuring workers aren’t placed under too much strain and letting them know their concerns are being heard and taken into account, is a good place to start – and may help businesses to retain some of their most valued workers.
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
Akyra can help your business to assist and support all your questions and concerns related to the impacts of COVID-19 in the workplace. Please contact Akyra on 07 3204 8830 or book a free 30-minute consultation for an obligation-free conversation.
Disclaimer – Reliance on Content
The material distributed is general information only. The information supplied is not intended to be legal or other professional advice, nor should it be relied upon as such. You should seek legal or professional advice in relation to your specific situation.
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