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Paid Vaccination Leave – Letter to Employers

The following is an email that was sent to all school principals. The IEUWA strongly supports paid vaccination leave for all staff in non-government schools.

Australia’s COVID vaccination has been beset with problems and delays ranging from inadequate supply, logistical and administration issues along with changing medical advice that mean nearly 6 months into the program just over 7% of Australians (nearly 2 million people) are vaccinated.  The Federal Government’s revised vaccination program now predicts that from September we will be administering 2 million doses per week. A key factor in lifting Australia’s low rate of vaccination will be whether we overcome the difficulties facing working people who want to be vaccinated.  The IEUA support the ambition to get Australians vaccinated as soon as possible but we are concerned that without paid time off most workers will be left struggling to find time to get vaccinated on weekends and before or after work. This is not going to get us where we need to be. It will undoubtedly extend the already delayed rollout program and result in the potential for health restrictions to remain in place for a prolonged period and jeopardise the economic recovery.
Paid time vaccinations are the key to our recovery A highly vaccinated population is one of the keys to our economic recovery, and that’s good for staff and for business.  The only way that this can happen is with the support of good employers.   Many workers simply cannot afford to lose pay to get vaccinated and should not have to choose between their health and paying the bills.  Your school now has an important opportunity to join the employers who are making a positive contribution to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employers have already introduced paid vaccination leave for their workforce with hundreds of thousands of workers now in a position to quickly access a vaccination once the supply issues are resolved. With the threat of lockdowns continuing throughout 2021 across all states and territories, now is the time for you to provide your staff with best practice entitlements of up to two days of paid authorised absence for each jab so that they can be vaccinated against COVID-19. The benefits of doing so are immense. COVID-19 is a key risk to staff and to business continuity.  By providing staff with paid time to get vaccinated, you would be helping to mitigate a key risk to your business and sending a message to your workers that you care about their wellbeing.  You would also be sending a powerful message to the community that we are in this together, setting an example for other organisations.   You can view the draft policy and the EBA draft clause by clicking on these links:

Draft Employer Policy – Vaccination Leave
Draft Enterprise Bargaining Agreement Clause

These draft documents are the way that this important entitlement can be brought into effect. The policy and the EBA clause are designed to complement each other and ensure that the entitlement is applied consistently and effectively.  The policy can be implemented immediately, while we discuss adopting the EBA clause.
What next? We look forward to your early agreement to introduce this important initiative and request your written response within seven days. We look forward to reporting the schools answer to our members, your employees after that date.  Please email should you wish to discuss the proposal further.