Telstra has announced it is offering a $200 incentive to its 25,000-strong workforce who get fully vaccinated from COVID-19.
In an email circulated to staff on Monday, Telstra chief Andy Penn said the telecommunications giant had an “important nation-building role to play”.
“The quicker we are vaccinated, the quicker we are safer and stronger economically,” Penn wrote.
“That is why we have decided to reward our employees, starting in Australia, who get fully vaccinated with 200 Appreciate points (the equivalent of A$200), so you in turn can reward yourself for taking this step.”
The reward is “voluntary”, he added, and will also be backpaid so people who have already been vaccinated can also receive the incentive.
‘Appreciate’ points are part of Telstra’s internal reward and recognition system, where accumulated points can go towards purchasing items or redeeming gift cards.
The incentive will also eventually be rolled out to Telstra’s international teams “where we are able to do so,” Penn added.
Taking into account that some have not yet been able to secure an appointment for their preferred vaccine, the incentive program will last until the end of the year (31 December).
“Never has it been a more important time for us to come together, to take action and show care for the country, each other and communities in which we live and work,” said Penn.
What are other Aussie companies doing?
The move from the telco giant makes it one of the first to offer an incentive, rather than a punishment, for getting vaccinated.
Automotive parts company Bapcor is offering workers $100 gift cards, while Virgin staff will be able to claim free tickets, frequent flyer points and business class flights.
Meanwhile, major bank NAB has promised to match the vaccination of each employee by donating a vaccine to someone in Fiji or Papua New Guinea through UNICEF’s ‘Give the World a Shot’ platform.
Fruit and vegetable processor SPC was criticised for its ‘no jab, no job’ policy, announcing that staff who had not been vaccinated or scheduled their COVID-19 vaccine would be barred from entering the workplace.
Many Australian companies are offering workers paid leave to get vaccinated, including Fujitsu and Qantas, though the airline was slammed by the transport union for not covering its contracted staff, something Fujitsu is doing.
Banking giants Commonwealth Bank and Westpac have joined the vaccine rollout, starting with employees working in COVID-19 hotspots, while Woolworths and Coles have secured priority access to the Pfizer vaccine for its frontline workers.