Should COVID-19 vaccination be compulsory for mortgage brokers?

Industry figures have spoken up on the issue of compulsory vaccination

Should COVID-19 vaccination be compulsory for mortgage brokers?

As Australia navigates its third wave of COVID-19 and the vaccine rollout picks up speed, the issue of whether brokers should be required to get vaccinated has left some industry figures scared of rocking the boat. Despite this, other industry figures have spoken up on the issue, including CEO of Lendi Group David Hyman.

“We can see from the events unfolding around the country that getting vaccinated is crucial in protecting Australians and working towards a new COVID normal for all of us,” he told MPA. “We also understand that people have the right to different beliefs and respect the individual’s decision as to whether or not they choose to get vaccinated - but we also have a duty of care to protect our people, our customers, their loved ones, and the communities we work and live in.”

He said Lendi was making it easier for its staff to get vaccinated – a task that many Australians have found challenging to book in outside traditional office hours, and encouraged everyone who is able to do so to get vaccinated.

“We are calling on the broking industry and the wider business community, to support this drive and play a part in getting to a safe new normal,” he said. “On the topic of mandatory vaccinations, I believe there needs to be a stronger stance from Government on this matter given the myriad of legal and ethical considerations around individual employers or businesses mandating vaccinations.”

Read more: Mortgage industry falls silent on compulsory COVID vaccination for brokers

For aggregation manager at Specialist Finance Group Blake Buchanan, the issue of mandating vaccination has many grey areas that should be considered.

“I do not agree with mandating vaccination for brokers,” he told MPA. “Firstly, there are many with health conditions who will not be able to receive the vaccination safely. I would hate for those to be treated differently if and when they had to prove that they were vaccinated or not.

“Free will is stitched into the fabric of this country and I just don’t think forcing people to do something that they don’t want to is the solution.”

He said vaccination targets set by National Cabinet would be crucial in navigating life after lockdown.

“I see this as the solution, the vaccinated may go about their life as normal with other vaccinated people,” he said. “Those that choose not to have the vaccination (when eligible) will remain bound by lockdown rules until the required percentage of the population is vaccinated.

“The fortunate thing in this scenario is that brokers can trade on a contactless basis and so should you choose to remain unvaccinated, you can still operate as a broker. If you want to remain a broker, do face to face visits with your clients but not get vaccinated, then you have the freedom to choose another profession.”

Read more: Why a COVID-19 vaccine could be the best way for brokers to build rapport with clients

He pointed to the “Dunning-Kruger effect,” as being a major problem in vaccine hesitancy at the moment and offered the following advice.

“See a doctor with an open mind,” he said. “Listen to your doctor’s advice and, if eligible, get vaccinated.

“Don’t wait, don’t procrastinate - make plans today to see your doctor or get the jab.”

National partnership manager at Simplicity Loans & Advisory Dino Pacella said with any vaccine or immunisation it should always come down to the individual’s choice.

“With this, there will be restrictions for those who don’t wish to get vaccinated,” he added. “Let me take you back in time to when we used to travel overseas and had to have certain immunisations or shots to enter certain countries. People were booking in appointments with their doctor faster than you could say, ‘How much is this Bintang Singlet?’”

He said when it came to vaccinating against COVID, it would come down to each person’s beliefs and lifestyle.

“Some may nominate to roll up their sleeves because their main reason is to protect themselves and their families, others may want to do their part in helping open our country and boost our economy,” he said. “Some may want to get vaccinated for travel reasons or maybe as a requirement for work.”

He said whatever the reason, brokers should do their own research and speak to a health professional before making the choice.

“From my personal standpoint, I’ve had my first dose of Pfizer and will be having my second very soon,” he said. “I want to see Australia open back up and not have lockdowns and border restrictions imposed on us. These are detrimental to families, businesses, mental health and our economy.”