Ad industry backs COVID-19 vaccinations with extra paid time off


Credit: Ralph (Ravi) Hayden

Ad agencies have launched internal campaigns making it easier to vaccinate staff against COVID-19, offering incentives including paid time off.

The industry generally takes a pro-vaccination approach but, like most of Australia, does not make it mandatory.

GroupM stands out, offering a $100 incentive to staff who can demonstrate valid proof of both vaccinations by Dec. 31. This applies to over 800 employees, including those at Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker, Essence and Finecast.

And a series of industry figures have gone public, via the AdNews COVID Commentary series, with their own vaccination stories.

AT Omnicom Media Group, CEO Peter Horgan: “Omnicom Media Group supports and encourages our staff to get vaccinated against COVID. By this we mean free time to get vaccinated and also free time to recover.

“As a group, we have always implemented a free annual flu vaccination program available to all staff and we hope to be able to implement the same with the COVID vaccine when we all return to the office.”

Michel Rebello, Publicis ANZ Group CEO, after his double whammy: “As we look to the future and set our group policy on staff vaccinations, our true north will be informed by what keeps our people safe when we’ll come back to the office.”

Publicis has created the VACCation leave (vaccination leave) and the three-day Covid care leave, available until the end of the year. The additional leave is in addition to other entitlements and is available while a state is on lockdown or under restrictions that prevent staff from working in the office.

“These extra days off are our way of acknowledging that living under restrictions and confinement can take its toll,” Rebelo said. AdNews.

“And some days are more difficult than others, mentally, emotionally and physically, when people are trying to work and manage their lives at home.

“So we wanted to give staff the chance to take some time off – to help their children learn at home, take a wellness day, or find ways to provide support to those in need.”

AT Mediabrands Australia, staff do not need to use their annual leave to get vaccinated.

“If our employees choose to get the COVID shot during work hours, we encourage them to do so without the need to take time off,” said Kim Lion, Chief Culture and Leadership Officer.

“We hear many stories from people who are fully vaccinated or have had their first shot as their age groups are asked to participate.

“We also have many team members who proactively sought vaccination before their group obtained AstraZeneca. It is important to offer this time for appointments and support their actions.”

Mark Coad, Mediabrands CEO of Australia, speaking at the AdNews series, rolled up his sleeve to get vaccinated saying “vaccination is our way out of this mess”.

AT GroupM, staff benefit from paid leave . “We want our staff to be protected and look out for their own health, so if they need to take time off to get their shots, or because they are suffering from side effects, we encourage them to talk to their manager about it. organize it, and it’s won. it will not affect their right to personal leave, “says GroupM.

Havas Thierry Lalchère, Chief People Officer Australia & New Zealand: “Havas locally grants special leave to staff in order to be vaccinated, and personal leave afterwards for people who have suffered side effects.”

WPP AUNZ “We strongly encourage our employees to get vaccinated and give them the opportunity to do so during working hours.”

Rose Herceg, WPP AUNZ CSO: “We give our Australian babies a total of 16 different vaccines. Because they work. And they are smart. Consider this vax COVID one more. Except for adults. »

Jasmine Bedir, CEO, Innocean Australia: “I have encouraged my staff to get vaccinated as soon as possible, if they need time off for the appointment as well as sick days to deal with side effects the company will cover this .”

Sue Squillace, CEO, dental ANZ media says vaccination is the pathway to getting back to normal life, being outdoors, travelling, socializing and being with teams at work and the energy that brings.

“I had my two vaccinations at the Homebush Center and couldn’t have been more impressed with the operational excellence I experienced from booking, through to the actual injections,” she says. “I was in and out of there in 30 minutes including the wait – well done NSW.”

Tom Frazer, Managing Partner and Managing Director, Half-Dome“High vaccination rates are the only way out of this mess, and although I only recently became eligible for the AZ vaccine, I booked my first shot with my wife this week.

“It’s about more than setting a good example for my family or colleagues – this is a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, and from my perspective, it’s our duty to get through this together.”

neon treehousean Adelaide-born digital agency that has seen 213% growth in revenue over the past four financial years, is ensuring its staff are supported with vaccination leave.

CEO and Founder, Josh White: “This leave includes three hours for both vaccinations. The purpose of this leave is to allow our staff to leave work and attend their pre-booked vaccination appointment. By granting this leave to all staff, we believe staff will feel supported and encouraged by their workplace to ride and get vaccinated.”

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