Well-known Victorian food manufacturer SPC has become one of the first Aussie companies to mandate that staff are fully vaccinated before they are allowed to work.
SPC, based in Shepparton and a century-old preserving company in the Goulburn Valley, says all of its staff must be fully vaccinated against coronavirus by the end of November to gain entry to any company location.
Any visitors to an SPC site will also be required to be vaccinated.
The measure will ensure the health and well-being of all staff and the broader community, the company says.
SPC is believed to employ about 500 permanent staff.
All SPC staff, including casual and permanent staff as well as contractors, must have at least the first dose of the vaccine scheduled by September 15, with the first dose administered by the end of October.
SPC chairman Hussein Rifai, said: "Lockdowns are not a sustainable solution and the Australian economy needs to open up again.
"The Delta variant poses a significant threat to our people, our customers and the communities we serve. The only path forward for our country is through vaccination.
"As a company, we believe it is the right thing to do and we must go further to minimise risk and to protect the people we care about from the Delta variant."
All staff will be aided and offered compensation via paid time off when required to receive their vaccinations as well as special paid leave of up to two days for any staff who may become unwell after vaccination.
For those with a pre-existing condition and are unable to receive the vaccine their circumstances will be considered on a case by case basis.
SPC chief executive Robert Giles said: "We have already implemented rigorous safety plans at all our sites in response to the pandemic.
"These plans have ensured our people's health, safety and job security while ensuring business continuity for the essential service we provide to the broader community. But Australian companies must go further by rapidly vaccinating their staff.
"By taking proactive steps now, we are shoring up our Company for the future. We firmly believe that it will be manufacturers and innovators like SPC who will help drive Australia's post-COVID economic recovery."