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News Corp Australia to introduce Covid vaccine mandate for staff

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<span>Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP</span>
Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

News Corp Australia will not allow anyone who is not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter its buildings next year, joining other big employers including Coles, the Commonwealth Bank and Qantas that have mandated vaccines for staff.

Nine Entertainment, publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, is expected to unveil a similar vaccination mandate for its workplaces by 1 December.

The News Corp ban on the non-vaccinated will apply to its Holt Street, Surry Hills headquarters, as well as state-based newspapers across the country, Sky News Australia and Foxtel.

Related: Qantas mandates full Covid-19 vaccination for all its employees

“At our town hall [meeting] earlier this month, we spoke about our approach to vaccination and our desire to keep all our people safe at News,” News Corp’s chief people officer, Ruth Allen, told staff on Friday.

“You heard how vaccination is strongly encouraged for everyone who works at News and from next year, vaccination will be required to enter a News building unless you have a medical (or other reasonable) exemption.”

Allen told all staff they needed to upload a vaccination certificate to make it easier to enter the building.

The ABC’s managing director David Anderson told staff in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory they needed to be fully vaccinated to enter workplaces from 20 October as those states were considered high-risk areas. Staff in the other states and territories need to be vaccinated if they work in makeup, security and most content-making and studio roles.

“If an employee does not meet the requirements set out in the policy, they will not be allowed to engage in the above duties or enter ABC premises, sites or locations deemed high risk,” Anderson said.

“In these circumstances, managers will work with the individual to determine whether any reasonable adjustments can be made to minimise risk to the worker and others.

“The risk to staff and operations posed by exposure to Covid remains significant and we will continue to monitor the situation and follow public health advice with regards to people attending our workplaces.”

The policy also applies to ABC contractors, visitors and guests attending ABC worksites.

News Corp tabloids including the Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun and the Courier-Mail have encouraged people to get vaccinated with a national front-page campaign.

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