The only way we are going to get out of lockdowns and back to a life resembling some sort of normality is for people to get vaccinated.

I’m double jabbed, so is my husband and Nikita has only just been able to get her first dose.  It was our choice to get vaccinated and even though I would love to see more people vaccinated, I believe it has to be their choice.

I honestly believe if everyone who wanted to get vaccinated, could get vaccinated, we would reach our targets without the need for mandating it in the workplace, but as we have seen in Victoria in the past week, construction workers have been given a week to get vaccinated and in NSW, as of this week, if you are a worker from an LGA of Concern, you cannot leave your area for work unless you have had at least one dose.

Our country is currently bleeding billions of dollars, and the lockdowns must end, so FTMA encourages you all to look at ways to incentivise your workplace. I can assure you, the cost of a shutdown for even a week will outweigh the costs of any incentives.

I thought I would outline a couple of incentives I’ve heard about in our industry as examples of things you may wish to do within your workplace to push for full vaccination.

AKD’s Time to Vaccinate Incentive

Shane Vicary and the AKD Board’s belief is that the company needs to respect individuals’ positions on the issue of COVID-19 Vaccine, so, in the absence of government legislation, it is not compulsory for AKD employees to be vaccinated.

AKD however, is encouraging all employees to get vaccinated, as they believe by doing so, employees are not only protecting themselves, but keeping their co-workers, family, friends and the community safe.  The sooner everyone chooses to roll up their sleeve and get vaccinated, the sooner everyone can get back to living a more normal life and enjoying the things they love again.

As an incentive, AKD doing a weekly random draw for an employee to win $1000, every week between now (September) and Christmas – some 16 weeks, simply by sharing their vaccination certificates with the company.

The draw is done by a computer selection mimicking a roulette wheel with Shane pressing a button on a computer to produce each week’s random winner. Week 1 he was so excited he decided to press the button 3 times and there were 3 winners!

The company also provides support to enable employees to get vaccinated, with AKD approving 3 hours paid leave for employees to get vaccinated.

Who doesn’t want a Vax Holiday?

One fabricator has told me they offered all employees who showed a double vaccination certificate a Vax Holiday, which is one extra day’s leave. The additional day off has to be taken within a specified period but this is another excellent incentive for employees to get vaccinated.

Birthday holiday….yes please!

Is it just me, but I always hate working on my birthday, so another great incentive FTMA recommends fabricators to consider is offering all fully vaccinated employees their next birthday off work fully paid.  If their birthday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, they can nominate whether they want the Friday or Monday.

This way employers can have a bit of planning as you know the day the worker won’t be there and for those who like a bit of organisation, this is perfect.

We all have a role to play

Yes, it’s an added cost to the business, but have you truly thought of the cost to your business if you do get the virus in the workplace. As an industry, we all have a role to play in keeping our businesses open and our industry alive.

If you have any other great ideas for incentives, please let me know as we are all in this together and it’s important that we all survive.

Kersten Gentle

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