Already under pressure, Dubbo businesses are concerned that policing double-dose vaccination among customers may be up to them and are "screaming" out for some clear guidelines, the city's chamber of commerce president says.
Matt Wright reports a number have indicated to the peak body they may have to employ extra staff if the onus is on them to enforce laws mooted to go with NSW's planned first reopening at the 70 per cent double vaccination against COVID mark.
"On top of that, a number have mentioned they may need to employ security," Mr Wright said.
"So the concern we've got with that is two things, one being employing additional staff puts additional pressure on cash flow, which a lot of the businesses we're talking about are struggling with at the moment, already as it is," he said.
"But then secondly just finding people at the moment to fill some of these roles where there's a bit of a labour shortage already, in and around the region."
Last week NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it would be illegal for people who aren't completely vaccinated against COVID-19 to access venues when NSW starts reopening at the 70 per cent double-dose mark.
But the government is yet to specify penalties and who would be liable for breaches, with Ms Berejiklian saying it was working "through the compliance issues".
She said the government was still looking at what conditions would then be in place when the state reached 80 per cent double vaccinated.
Mr Wright said about 55 chamber members had jumped online for a meeting that was also attended by Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders.
"Dugald talked quite frankly and candidly about the situation we're in and what the government thinks it will look like rolling out in the next six to eight weeks," Mr Wright said.
The chamber president said there were a lot of questions asked about the issue of customer entry to stores and venues, and the issue of staff vaccination went hand-in-hand.
Employers were wanting to know how they would manage if some of their employees did not get the jab, Mr Wright said.
"...it is definitely a cause of anxiety for businesses as well," he said.
"We spoke to one business on the webinar the other day that about 30 per cent of their staff - and they're a reasonable sized business - about 30 per cent of their staff aren't vaccinated and are opting not to be vaccinated," he said.
"So that does cause some divide internally in the business."
Mr Wright said a potential situation was if vaccinated staff members chose not to work with unvaccinated colleagues, because "maybe they do have someone at home" who had an impaired immune system.
He said the question was did they make the choice to approach their employer and say they preferred not to work with non-vaccinated team members.
"There are a lot of issues there around staff as well, definitely the whole staff and customers does go hand-in-hand, and is definitely causing some grief and stress for business owners, and how they deal with it, because they don't know how they need to deal with it, because there's no clear guideline," he said.
"They're really screaming out for some clear guidelines on what their roles and responsibilities will be, but also what the implications will be of not following those roles and responsibilities."
He's anticipating specific health orders by the week's end.
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