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Westpac begins COVID antigen testing pilot

The big four bank has commenced a rapid antigen testing pilot for customer-facing employees in Sydney’s COVID hotspots.

Westpac has introduced a rapid coronavirus antigen testing pilot, with access for employees in Sydney’s Canterbury-Bankstown local government area (LGA) and in Westpac’s Concord premises.

COVID-19 testing will be conducted in-branch using a nostril swab, and supported by a registered medical professional.

The program will be scaled after an initial two-week pilot to include more locations and a virtual nurse service.

In addition, Westpac has expanded its workplace wellbeing program with a focus on physical and mental wellbeing.

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The program includes paid leave to get a coronavirus vaccine and to recover, paid carer’s leave for employees supervising their children, in addition to two weeks of special paid COVID leave as required.

The major bank is also offering mental health seminars, a “wellbeing hour” where employees are encouraged to take a break, access to free counselling for employees and their immediate families, and vaccination information sessions with infectious diseases physician Dr Nick Coatsworth.

According to Westpac, more than 12,000 people have been in attendance so far.

Commenting on the initiatives, Westpac CEO Peter King said that more than 10,000 Westpac employees live in Sydney’s most impacted LGAs.

“Rapid testing gives our people the chance to get tested quickly and simply on our premises,” Mr King said.

“With our teams across the country going in and out of lockdown, we have also expanded our workplace wellbeing program to offer more support to our employees and their families.”

Westpac recently announced a pilot program to help employees in those LGAs most affected by the Delta strain outbreak of the coronavirus to get vaccinated.

The hubs will provide employees and their households with access to the AstraZeneca vaccine in each of the eight most impacted LGAs. Employees will be able to make their bookings online.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia also began offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to customer-facing employees and their immediate families in the most impacted LGAs in Sydney.

[Related: Banks welcome NSW COVID support]

Westpac begins COVID antigen testing pilot
Westpac begins COVID antigen testing pilot
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