Queensland businesses deserve to know what the state’s impending 90% double vaccination milestone means for them and the rules they need to comply with to do business.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) data shows one in five Queensland businesses reported a critical constraint on their ability to maintain normal operational hours or service delivery since December and many were desperate to know what the state’s next vaccine milestone meant for their long-term recovery.
“We heard in November new vaccine in the workplace rules for hospitality and entertainment businesses would be reviewed when the state hit 90% double vaccinated,” CCIQ Policy and Advocacy General Manager Amanda Rohan said.
“We’re so close to reaching that milestone and so far we don’t know what impact the review will have on businesses.
“Small businesses have been at the forefront of managing COVID in the workplace for close to two years and many are hanging onto the next mandate review to know what their future holds.”
Ms Rohan said the essential detail was especially important given businesses still needed access to freely and widely available Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs), the list of essential industries expanded and financial support for businesses forced to close directly due to public health directions.
“Businesses need access to freely and widely available RATs to help them and their staff get back to work quicker, plan for workforce shortages, and ongoing recovery,” Ms Rohan said.
“Its’s equally important the list of essential industries continues to be consistently reviewed to enable businesses to self-assess their risk profile and to ensure employees are able to get back to work as soon as safe and practicable.
“We know staff shortages are impacting small businesses and there is a call for those most impacted businesses to be financially supported.
“Any support package made available must be directly targeted and of joint state and federal support.”
Queensland is a small business state, with more than 97% of all businesses operating as sole traders or employing less than 20 staff.
Small businesses employed more than one in three working Queenslanders and contributed more than one third of the state’s economy, Ms Rohan said.
“It’s time for those businesses to be afforded some certainty as to what the next stage of their long-term recovery looks like and what the vaccine milestone means for them, their staff and their customers,” she said.
“We advocated the vaccine in the workplace mandates for hospitality and entertainment businesses should have been the choice of individual businesses but that didn’t happen and small businesses were disproportionately impacted, especially those in regional Queensland.
“It’s not fair for businesses to be the last to know about rule changes which impact them.”