"The Prime Minister’s comments in support of rapid COVID testing and the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s further investigation of the tests is most welcome," Innes Willox Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.
"Rapid testing needs to be fully approved as soon as possible as this is a matter of urgency. Such tests are used extensively across the world and are very effective at protecting the community and staff and customers of individual workplaces.
"We agree the results of rapid tests should be able to be linked to government testing data bases. This will give governments even more test data to analyse than they receive now.
"The value of rapid tests over lab-based tests and potentially in conjunction with those tests is obvious. Results are very close to lab based tests, almost instantaneous and from the employers perspective that means they can be used in some high risk operations at the beginning of a shift or in operations every week or so.
"Businesses overseas are making rapid tests compulsory for workers in many situations. They both protect staff and reduce time off work while waiting sometimes days for a lab test result.
"The TGA should be able to quickly approve these rapid tests, many of which are made here and exported.
"We again call on the Federal Government to extend the same indemnity to employers who vaccinate their willing workers at the workplace as is enjoyed by doctors, pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies.
"A medical practitioner who comes to a workplace to give the vaccine would have an indemnity. The employer does not have that same indemnity but should be given it to cover any unexpected circumstances.
"Indemnity has nothing to do with mandating vaccinations which is an entirely separate issue. It is about reducing the risk for employers who may still face an expensive workplace claim.
"Employers are very keen to help speed up the vaccination effort in the workplace and an extension of indemnity to them would make this more attractive for many more employers," Mr Willox said.
Tony Melville - 0419 190 347