No jab no work: Associations urge SPC caution
Print trade associations are urging printers to be cautious if they are thinking of using the downloadable Vaccine Response Kit from SPC as part of any mandatory workplace vaccination plan for themselves.
Charles Watson, general manager IR policy and governance at TRMC said, "Print businesses need to be cautious about implementing someone else's plan. SPC operates in a different space, food manufacturing, and in a certain jurisdiction. The best vaccine plan, wherever you are, is to do all you can to encourage all your staff to get vaccinated, and print business I have been talking to are achieving really high employee vaccination rates."
TRMC has released a Vaccination Business Kit for its members, which it describes as "a solid document filled with templated communications, letters and other material to assist members through the journey of workplace vaccination".
Walter Kuhn, president at PVCA said, “Print businesses outside Victoria where there is no government mandate for vaccination need to be aware that there are a whole heap of issues surrounding company-driven mandatory employee vaccinations. The issue is sure to be tested in the courts.
“What works for SPC in Victoria may not be appropriate for print businesses, nor in other jurisdictions. PVCA would urge print businesses considering imposing mandatory vaccinations to talk to their local health authority first, to take legal advice, and to be aware that whatever they do could be challenged in the courts.”
PVCA is running a webinar at 9.30am on Friday morning, which will be repeated next week, for printers to ask its industrial relations experts any question on employee vaccinations.
SPC was the first company in Australia to mandate vaccination, and has now made its Vaccine Response Plan available to all business, as a download, with some 1500 Australian companies so far taking advantage of it.
Print businesses of all shapes and sizes are beginning to mandate vaccinations, the giant News Ltd newspaper plant in Chullora, Sydney, last week told all its staff they need to be vaccinated, while Complete Displays, a more typical SME sign and display operation, has barred anyone who is not vaccinated from coming into the building.
SPC has itself just been cleared of any wrongdoing by Work Safe Victoria in the way it consulted with its staff over its mandatory vaccination policy, with the company accusing “someone, likely in the AMWU” of “shameful behaviour" in bringing the notion that questioned the veracity of the process in the first place.
Hussein Rifai, chairman, SPC, and Robert Giles CEO, said “We are delighted to share this Response Plan with our friends and colleagues in the Australian business world. SPC is proud of the leadership position it has taken on its mandatory vaccination policy.
“We understand that vaccination is our pathway toward an open country, economic and social freedoms and, critically, safety for our workers. We look forward to continuing to speak with the government, other businesses and stakeholders.”