A campaign by UNI Global Union’s affiliate in Australia, the Finance Sector Union (FSU), has led to over 100,000 finance workers having the right to dedicated paid leave to receive Covid-19 vaccinations.
FSU is calling for two days of paid Covid-19 vaccination leave across the finance sector and has written to approximately 80 employers urging them to provide this important entitlement. Many employers have responded positively, agreeing to provide some type of paid leave and re-crediting any leave for staff who have already had a vaccination.
FSU National Secretary, Julia Angrisano, said:
“Our members have told us that the time it takes to receive the vaccine and the potential requirement to take sick leave to manage any side effects are a barrier to many people receiving the vaccine. So, I am pleased that a number of employers have stepped up and recognized the unique situation that Covid-19 has generated and have granted some form of paid vaccination leave. I am hopeful that those employers yet to commit to paid leave reconsider their position so we can boost vaccination rates as quickly as possible. This entitlement has been won through the hard work of trade unions and their activists.”
However, a number of employers have resisted the FSU request and have argued that their staff already have a range of leave options that they can utilize to get vaccinated. Australia currently has a very low vaccination rate, with less than three per cent of the population vaccinated.
Angelo Di Cristo, Head of UNI Finance, said:
“As Australia heads into winter, it is vital that employers in the finance sector do everything necessary to facilitate access to vaccines for workers, many of whom are in face-to-face contact with customers on a daily basis. We congratulate FSU on their campaign and urge more employers to do the right thing and allocate two-days paid leave for Covid-19 vaccinations.”