The Finance Sector Union (FSU) is proposing that employees in the financial services sector be granted two days paid leave in order to have a Covid vaccination.
FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano said as essential services, bank branches had remained open and banking workers faced continuing exposure to Covid-19.
“Staff in retail banking branches put themselves, their family and the community at risk through potential exposure to Covid-19 and with Victoria in lockdown, getting vaccinated as soon as possible should be encouraged by employers,” Ms Angrisano said.
“With vaccinations becoming more accessible, we have a shared opportunity to take positive steps towards controlling this pandemic and it is in the interests of finance sector workers, employers and the community for staff to receive a vaccination as soon as possible.”
Ms Angrisano said employers had the benefit of an economy which was bouncing back and growing strongly despite the impact of Covid-19 and is now 1.1% bigger than before the pandemic began.
“This recovery has not been achieved by any other advanced economy across the globe and the best way to maintain a buoyant economy is for the population to be vaccinated before we are hit with further waves of the virus, further lockdowns and the consequent negative impact on businesses and jobs.”
In a letter to banks, insurance companies and financial services firms, Ms Angrisano says: “Forecasts by the Reserve Bank and Treasury rest upon the assumption that Australia’s vaccination program will be rolled out as planned by year’s end. If we can convince more Australians of the urgent need to get the vaccine – where medically advised and available – it could have an economic silver lining. The sustainable path back to economic normalcy is having a successfully vaccinated population.”
Ms Angrisano said the time it takes to get the vaccine and the potential requirement to take sick leave to manage any side effects should not be a barrier for anyone to have a vaccination.
“Already some employers, like Woolworths, Bunnings, Kmart and Target have taken a leadership role and granted their staff leave to encourage them to access a vaccination.”
“We believe it is in the best interests of our members, their families and the entire community for financial services firms to step up and do their bit to make sure staff get vaccinated.”