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Westpac introduces rapid testing for employees, expands employee wellbeing and mental health support

20 August 2021

Westpac has today announced it has commenced a rapid antigen testing pilot to support customer-facing employees in Sydney’s COVID hotspots.

Employees in the Canterbury-Bankstown Local Government Area and in Westpac’s Concord premises will have access to the testing which will be conducted in branch, using a nostril swab and supported by a registered medical professional. After an initial two-week pilot, the program will be scaled to include more locations and a virtual nurse service.

Westpac CEO, Peter King, said that Westpac continues to take proactive steps to keep employees safe and help them through the challenges of COVID.

“We have more than 10,000 employees living in Sydney’s most impacted LGAs, with many continuing to support customers in branches with essential banking needs. Rapid testing gives our people the chance to get tested quickly and simply on our premises.

“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,” Mr King said.

Westpac offers a variety of flexible working options and resources for our people, with a focus on physical and mental wellbeing.

The expanded program includes:

  • Paid leave to get a COVID jab and to recover, paid carer’s leave for employees supervising their children, plus a further two weeks of special paid COVID leave as required.
  • Mental health seminars run by Westpac’s Chief Mental Health Officer, Dave Burroughs, as well as guest speakers including some 2021 Tokyo Olympians and big wave surfer Mark Mathews, who shared his story on facing into stress and living life beyond fear.
  • A “Wellbeing Hour” with diaries automatically blocked between 12pm-1pm daily, and employees are encouraged to take a break, go for a walk and have time free from meetings.
  • Access to free counselling services for employees and their immediate families.
  • Access to a new, dedicated online hub from the Australian Museum, including live talks with scientists, videos and kids activities.
  • Interactive sessions, for example, a cooking class run by chef Donna Hay for the whole family.
  • Virtual wellbeing classes such as yoga and meditation.
  • Vaccine information sessions with Dr Nick Coatsworth, Infectious Diseases Physician, with more than 12,000 in attendance so far.

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