Woolworths confirms 3300 staff forced into Covid isolation

·3-min read

Woolworths' CEO has revealed staff members are "feeling the impacts of Delta" with thousands of employees currently in isolation.

With several regions of Australia in lockdown, Woolies CEO Brad Banducci emailed customers to update them on how the company is supporting the team, customers and the community.

He started off the email by saying Woolworths is "deeply appreciative" for the frontline staff at the supermarkets, distribution centres and those out delivering groceries.

"They are feeling the impacts of Delta very directly, with more than 3,300 team members currently in isolation on the advice of local health authorities," Mr Banducci said.

More than 3000 Woolworths staff members are currently in isolation. Source: AAP
More than 3000 Woolworths staff members are currently in isolation. Source: AAP

He thanked staff members for coming forward and getting vaccinated and said 3000 Covid jabs have been given out at the on-site Distribution Centre clinics in NSW and Victoria.

Mr Banducci also addressed the issue of some customers not being able to find stock on the shelves, or substitutes with online orders.

"Unlike 18 months ago, this is less to do with surges in customer demand (aka “the toilet paper wars”) and more because of the extra pressure on our Distribution Centres, with over 500 of those team members needing to self-isolate as close or casual contacts," he said. 

"The good news is that these team members, having tested negative, are starting to be cleared to come back to work."

He said customers in NSW and the ACT will notice Woolworths is currently automatically allowing substitutions in all orders, due to the demand.

"We know this isn’t ideal, but it does mean there’s less chance of missing out on an essential item. We’ll revert to your preference as soon as we possibly can," he said.

While there are no 'toilet paper wars
While there are no 'toilet paper wars" like last year. (pictured), Woolies CEO Brad Banducci said the company is experiencing some "gaps on shelf". Source: AAP

Woolworths sees hundreds of thousands of deliveries amid lockdown

Since July this year, 330,000 people have chosen to shop online with Woolworths for the first time.

"We are also prioritising close to 1 million online customers registered for Priority Assistance, who are either in mandatory isolation or considered vulnerable," he said.

"Our team is working hard to add more online windows across NSW, particularly for those most impacted in Greater Sydney. Thank you in advance for your patience as we work through this."

Delay in roll-out of Woolworths' latest collectable in NSW, ACT

Mr Banducci also announced the company's new collectable program, Woolworths Bricks, would not roll out in NSW and the ACT in line with the rest of the country.

The program starts on September 8, but Woolworths has pushed back the start date for NSW and the ACT until September 22.

The delayed start date is to help Woolworths staff prioritise food and essentials, but a full allocation of the collectible packs have been put aside.

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