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Our People

A safe place to work and shop

We care about the physical and psychological safety and health of our customers, team and business partners. We are committed to creating a safe work environment, where people arrive home from work and shopping free from injuries and illness.  
 
We believe: 

  • Being proactive is better than being reactive
  • Nothing is so important that you cannot take the time to do it safely
  • It is okay not to feel okay, and it's absolutely okay to ask for help
  • We are all accountable for a safe work environment 

To view our Safety, Health and Wellbeing Policy please click here.

Safe work for all team members

Woolworths provides safe and appropriate work for all team members, including young workers, through policies, procedures and onboarding and induction processes at the corporate, business and site levels. Additionally, there are implemented processes which sit within business safety and health management systems, such as:

  • Being proactive is better than being reactive
  • online education
  • safety information
  • instruction
  • communication; and 
  • consultation.

Onboarding supervision programs and "buddy" systems include on the job training in emergency and first aid procedures, manual handling, hazardous chemical use and equipment handling, equipment licensing and certification.

Managers and supervisors use training, activity and workplace monitoring checklists to guide team members through the various elements of their role and complete periodic performance check ins, provide refresher training and competency sign off. Team members are only able to complete tasks within their role once they have completed training and are deemed competent by their workplace coach.

Safe working hours

The safety, health and wellbeing of our team members when it comes to hours of work are governed by the applicable industrial instrument and/or Awards in which provide the parameters around rostering principles which set out maximum hours, meal breaks and breaks between shifts. We also comply with health and safety laws in relation to hours of work. Further, our line managers monitor the workplace to ensure that our team is doing the right thing in ensuring our team has required breaks. 

Paying our team correctly and on time

Australia’s national minimum wage is set each year by an expert panel of the Fair Work Commission (FWC). The panel invites submissions from a wide range of organisations and also commissions research to inform its decision. In addition to the national minimum wage, there are also higher minimum wage rates, penalty rates and allowances contained in the modern awards that apply to Woolworths' team members.

Woolworths sets benchmarks taking into account any minimum wage rates, however in most cases Woolworths’ enterprise agreements and employment contracts provide for higher wage rates than the national minimum wage or minimum rate of pay (plus penalty rates and allowances) under an applicable award.

Woolworths has controls and processes in place to check and verify that any changes or updates that have occured within a pay period are captured so that we can pay our team members accurately. We pay our team on a weekly or monthly basis depending on the nature of the role and any applicable industrial instrument/award and/or contract.  We also provide our team members with payslips and seek to ensure payslips contain any information required to be provided by law.  Further, we withhold tax and superannuation in accordance with applicable legislation.

Protecting young team members

At Woolworths, we have a commitment to ensure that we are not using child labour in our operations or supply chain. 

We have controls in place during the recruitment process (including verifying age of candidates) to ensure that we are compliant with legislative requirements regarding the legal age of employment in each territory and state. Equally, we comply with all applicable licensing requirements, where we ensure team members who operate machinery that requires a licence must provide proof that they are 18 years or older as well as be licenced to operate the Machinery (i.e. Forklift).

Communicating our human rights commitments to our team

Woolworths communicates its commitment to respecting human rights through our Responsible Sourcing Policy and Standards. To reflect these commitments to our team members, team members are required to complete the Code of Conduct training upon commencing in the workplace. The Code of Conduct talks to our obligations of 'never cutting corners on the implementation of our Responsible Sourcing Policy and Responsible Sourcing Standards'. The Code of Conduct also makes it clear around our procurement teams to 'ensuring that our buying and procurement processes are transparent and in line with our Fair Trading Principles'

Further, Woolworths clearly defines expectations through policies, of creating a respectful workplace that is free from unlawful discrimination and protect workers rights, including those team members who are part of a union, as precribed under the FW Act. Our Line Managers are required to monitor the workplace and raise and address any behaviour that is deemed to be inappropriate, equally our team members are made aware of their obligations and avenues to raise any behaviours that they have witnessed or have experienced, including but not limited to raising concerns in line with our Complaints Handling framework and/or raising an anonymous complaint through SpeakUp. Team Members may also choose to raise concerns through their union which is addressed in accordance with our Complaints Handling Standards.

We publish information about our grievance process in terms of the Speak Up process on our Woolworths Company website, which includes details on how team members and suppliers contact the service to raise any concerns. The business reports on the nature of complaints to the board of directors on a quarterly basis. 

Supporting our team with vocational training

In 2021, Woolworths was a key sponsor of the National Skills Week (23 - 29 August). National Skills Week sets out to bring to life the talents, skills, career pathways and value of apprentices and trainees across Australia to the wider public and employers. The week is dedicated to raising the status of practical and vocational learning. Woolworths showcases opportunities on offer to young Australians in retail. For example, the refrigeration apprenticeship program that commenced in 2021. This is a four-year program which offers apprentice refrigeration technicians the opportunity to gain experience with the latest global refrigeration technologies.

Woolworths also has a skills training program where they are investing $50 million in skills training to upskill and reskill team members in technological advances in the next 3 years.

 

To view the recent Nakatomi, Continuous Control Monitoring R&D Report, click here.

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