By David Robb_September 13, 2021
UPDATED with quotes from SAG-AFTRA: SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee of the advertising industry have agreed, for the first time, to allow commercial producers to mandate Covid vaccinations on commercial shoots and auditions.
The new guidelines are an addendum to their existing Covid safety protocols and are similar to those already in place on film and TV productions.
“We are pleased that we were able to reach agreement on a policy that permits employers to require mandatory vaccinations for cast and crew on commercial productions,” SAG-AFTRA told Deadline. “This policy is in addition to our current protocols on testing and set safety, all of which continue to help ensure the safety of our members on sets. Similar to other policies permitting producers to require mandatory vaccinations, performers must be notified at the earliest point in the process as well as notified about the procedure to trigger the interactive process if there is a request for a medical or religious accommodation.
“Prior to this agreement, the union had been approving mandatory vaccination policies for commercial productions on a case-by-case basis consistent with the direction of the national board,” the union added. “The requirements that the national board set for approval of mandatory vaccination policies have now been codified into the JPC Covid agreement just as it was in the AMPTP return to work agreement and the requirements and procedures are mostly the same.
“Performers who are not vaccinated, but can be vaccinated and wish to remain eligible to work on all commercial sets should consider obtaining their first shot of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine — or their single shot of Johnson & Johnson vaccine — by October 4 and thereafter completing their course of vaccination within six weeks, including the two week waiting period following the second shot,” SAG-AFTRA told Deadline. “Assuming performers comply with the foregoing, under the terms of the new agreement, they will be considered ‘fully vaccinated’ and eligible to work on commercials that have adopted mandatory vaccination policies while they are going through the vaccination process.”
The agreement was reached on September 9 between the union and the Joint Policy Committee, which is the bargaining arm of the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies. The JPC says the new agreement will “provide a framework that will allow producers to mandate the Covid-19 vaccine for commercial productions.”