PRINTERS IN FIVE DAY RACE TO GET STAFF JABBED BEFORE MON DEADLINE

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Print businesses who have staff located in one of the 12 NSW LGAs of concern have just five days to ensure those staff have had at least one dose of the vaccine.  

Covid lockdown: Print with caveats
Covid 12 LGAs: Staff need jab from Monday

From Monday, staff who live in one of the 12 areas, and who work in another, will not be allowed into work, unless they can show they have had at least one jab.

The 12 areas of concern, located in west and southwest Sydney, host a large number of the state’s print businesses, including the two biggest, Ovato and IVE. Print bosses in the area have been working hard to help staff get the jab, with flexible arrangements, time off if they had any after effects, and incentives.

Rodney Frost, CEO of the Lamson Group said: "Some 92 per cent of our team live in the 12 LGA’s of focus, and they have really stood up and helped each other through an incredibly challenging time.

"In particular I’m humbled by their effort and sacrifice to get vaccinated to protect their team and their families. Our entire team will have had one jab before Monday, which is absolutely phenomenal.

"We introduced an incentive program, giving each team member a $75 digital voucher when fully vaccinated. Thanks go to Matt Aitken and the IVE Group Team for their inspiration on this initiative, it’s much appreciated."

Aitken, boss of the country's biggest printer, has been reaching out to other printers in the area and sharing the strategies IVE has put in place to enable its staff to get vaccinated. Frost said: "Matt shared what they had been doing, and we basically copied it."

The government had initially said that if employers had rapid antigen testing on-site then unvaccinated staff could come in, but they suddenly dumped that option, after concerns it may lead to delays in the uptake of vaccinations.

Ditching rapid antigen testing did not go down well with printers, as some had already set systems in place. Aleks Lajovic, CEO of Impact International in Smithfield told Print21: "We are in a LGA of concern, we had organised rapid antigen testing for staff, huge amount of work completed to get this arranged in the one week notice provided by the NSW government, and now all that is wasted."

Supply of the vaccine in the areas of concern to meet the Monday deadline is not an issue, with the state government  prioritising 500,000 Pfizer vaccines for young people aged 16-39 in the 12 LGAs, and it says it has plenty of Astra Zenica for everyone else.

Staff living in the 12 LGAs also need a permit to travel to work, irrespective of where they work. Staff who live outside the 12 LGAs but work in one of them also need an authorised worker travel permit. The permits are available on the Service NSW website. Big fines apply for those that have no permits or misuse them.

Permits to travel to work are also necessary in Melbourne. The Victoria lockdown has been extended indefinitely, much to the chagrin of business leaders there. ACT has had its lockdown extended until 17 September. WA, SA, Queensland and Tasmania have few restrictions. State borders remain tight, particularly between other states and NSW and Victoria.

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