Workforce Planning in COVID Times

Webcast recorded 29 September 2021

In this WOBChat, Claire Braund spoke to a guest panel about the impact of COVID-19 and what Boards and Executives need to be thinking about, from mandating vaccinations to risk management and workforce planning.


​Michele Adair

Director of Community Housing
Non-Executive Director.


Greg Keith

CEO Grant Thornton.


Dr Ian Norton

Specialist Emergency Physician
Founder of Response Global.

Issues discussed

  • It’s important to have a contingency plan.  One panel member is forecasting that 20% of their workforce will be unavailable.
  • Most agreed that they are going to require staff to be vaccinated and highlighted that there are a range of issues around supply chains and requirements to have a vaccinated workforce.
  • At this stage there are no privacy guidelines around requiring tenants / customers to provide personal details regarding vaccination status.
  • Vaccination statisitcs are explaind - including liklihood of shedding if you are vaccinated comparied with being unvaccinated and what this should mean to your workforce planning. 
  • The use of antigen drugs.
  • Contingecy plans for coming into the office.

 Questions NEDs should be considering

  • Is your business model still fit for purpose? Does it still make sense?
  • Where are the opportunities for growth or diversion?
  • What are the changes or implications for staff, particularly re mental health?
  • What are the implications for suppliers? What can and can’t you do for suppliers?
  • Cyber Security – are we respecting the data that we are requiring staff to provide re being vaccinated. What are the protocols to inspect certificates?
  • Do you need to change staff contracts to stipulate that before you commence work you must be vaccinated?
  • Issues re culture – one panel member expects to lose at least 2 staff as a result of their vaccination policy.
  • How do we sensitively instil our value of respect and have a conversation around the fact that staff have a right to make a choice, but it doesn’t diminish our rights as employers to make a decision.
  • Need to think laterally and expand our cognitive thinking. We are becoming more comfortable as boards making decision with imperfect implications.
  • The changes that will come out of Covid are not just around staff wanting to work from home. It's likely that organisations will need to change their complete role framework and performance accountability (ie outcomes not hours focussed).