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Companies usher their employees to vaccine sites

By Reporter
  • July 21 2021
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Borrow

Companies usher their employees to vaccine sites

By Reporter
July 21 2021

In a bid to reopen the Australian economy, various business groups, including the big four banks, will pay their casual staff to get a COVID-19 jab.

Companies usher their employees to vaccine sites

Companies usher their employees to vaccine sites

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By Reporter
  • July 21 2021
  • Share

In a bid to reopen the Australian economy, various business groups, including the big four banks, will pay their casual staff to get a COVID-19 jab.

Companies usher their employees to vaccine sites

With more than 11 million Australians currently in lockdown, including Australia’s two busiest cities, businesses across the country are putting their hands up to help lift the current jab rate.

Westpac and ANZ are among the big banks that have agreed to provide special paid leave to their staff.

Other large Australian businesses, including Wesfarmers, Domain, Prosper, Zip and Athena Home Loans, have offered similar support to workers.

Speaking on 3AW radio, ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott characterised the country’s vaccine rollout as “frustrating”. In a bid to simplify the process, ANZ is offering support to staff looking to receive the jab.

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“We have to make it easy. I think this is a ridiculous analogy, but I was thinking about how we got over plastic bag shopping at the supermarkets. We sort of got over it because we made it easy. We have to make this easy for people,” Mr Elliott said.

“And so that’s why as an employer, we’re really keen to be able to provide vaccines on-site, so that our people can just get on with it. I think we’ve got to make it as easy as possible.”

Similarly, Westpac announced back in June that it will offer employees special paid leave to attend COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

“Getting people vaccinated is key to protecting our family and friends should further outbreaks occur, as well as opening up the economy and returning to a more normal way of life,” Westpac Group CEO Peter King said at the time.

“While vaccination is a personal decision and employees should seek personal medical advice, we want to do everything we can to encourage employees to roll up their sleeve and get the jab.”

Workplace relations adviser Employsure, however, partially disagrees with this approach, noting that while employers “should do everything they can to incentivise their employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine”, the last thing they need is to pay their workers to get it.

While the unions have called for the introduction of a nationwide ‘paid vaccine leave’, which would allow workers to get the jab and recover from any side effects, Employsure believes this is a high cost for an employer to bear.

“You wouldn’t request paid time off to get the flu shot or other vaccines unless you were unfit for work as a result of receiving it. Work either provides it, or you do it in your own time,” said Employsure employment relations expert Nicholas Hackenberg.

“If a business is willing to offer its employees paid leave to get the vaccine on their own accord, then that’s a different story. What they don’t need, however, is to have that burden thrust upon them, particularly when so many small and medium-sized businesses are still scraping by.”

Companies usher their employees to vaccine sites
Companies usher their employees to vaccine sites
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