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Virtual Classes Launched (Update regarding changes to government's laws)

If you are anything like us, the news from the government regarding restrictions being imposed on people who won't be vaccinated was met with mixed feelings. From a Sip 'n' Dip perspective it made for a bitter pill to swallow. Personal opinions to the side (keeping in mind most of our team are already double dosed), we have had trouble with the concept that we are now required to police the policies being employed by the government under threat of fines.

What this means for Sip 'n' Dip Staff

Well, it hasn't been great for morale. Our staff all work in classes in cafes/taverns and pubs, any classes we hold in these venues (these are the majority of our locations) if unvaccinated will be unable to get into the venue to actually teach. This is a punch in the guts for those in our team who are yet to make a decision for themselves. Whilst they won't lose their job, they will lose almost every shift we have the rostered for, which is essentially the same thing. Note also we have immune-compromised people on our team waiting on specialist sign-off who are now faced with the choice to take a risk and get the jab or they lose their job. Never mind those who are just not ready yet or are waiting for the next vaccine before they make a call.

As the General Manager, part of my responsibility is building a positive and respectful culture in a business and ensuring that all your staff feels respected, appreciated, and understood. Yesterday being forced to implement government policy, and telling people that I value highly they would lose their jobs if they were not double dosed was a hard pill for me to swallow. It doesn't fall within the ethos I have created here at Sip 'n' Dip, and in spite of my own personal pro-vax opinions, I felt dirty.

What this means for our clients and existing bookings

Our policy won't change, it covers all government directives, so customers who can't make their classes just need to continue to give us 48 hours notice to get a credit.

If you plan not to get immunised - please contact us to arrange a credit or transfer. Turning up on the day knowing you may be refused will however mean we will have paid for supplies, paid staff time to pack and check kits and so on and so we won't be able to make allowances if you leave it until then. But letting us know in advance will mean you will qualify.

Sadly, again the timeline put in place around this left me feeling very unsettled, at some point, people are going to try to come to class unvaccinated anyway and get rejected at the door leaving my staff or the waitresses to get sprayed over something they can't control and at risk of fines.

Our answer to the mandate

As a small business, they threaten us with large fines for not complying. So we are going to have to fall into line (we don't have endless funds to pay fines in objection to the dictatorship) but we have decided to try and be inclusive in other ways wherever we can:

1) We are not going to sack our staff if they are not double dosed. We may not be able to offer them all of the shifts they currently have, but we will offer them whatever we can legally as the situation unfolds, this may be private unvaxed events and virtual classes.

2) We are going to offer private socially distanced events in homes, at parks, and at our studios provided, we can legally do so, which will allow those who choose not to get immunised, to be included.

3) We will introduce virtual classes as an inclusive option, and a backup for those who have purchased tickets already and are affected by the government's timeline. To allow them to transfer their ticket at no cost to a virtual version and allow them to complete the project they paid for.

4) We will continue to promote a culture that supports our employees and our customers and do what we can within the law to ensure that everyone is safe, respected, and appreciated.

Where you can find our virtual classes

We are working on establishing a page on our website, until it goes up you can find the site search listing here.

Last words

Whilst personal opinions when it comes to this stuff sparks fierce debate, and whilst my personal opinion is actually pro-vax, I am also fiercely pro-rights and I needed to say out loud at least once that while I 100% support the bigger picture and know the government needed to do something, and quickly, I feel disillusioned that once again small business has been made to be the people holding the batten for the government and forced to beat the very people who support their businesses (be it customers or staff) into their version of the submission.

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