HSU: Paid vaccine leave for aged care workers must be guaranteed

Health Services Union

The Health Services Union says the government’s plan to make vaccinations mandatory for aged care care workers will see the workforce crumble unless workers have an ironclad right to paid leave to receive the jab and recover.

The industry is already suffering through a protracted attraction and retention crisis due to rock bottom wages of $21 an hour. The PM’s announcement vaccinations will become mandatory will worsen the crisis unless the federal government recognises this reality.

“Rather than barking orders the Commknwealth needs to understand the reality of aged care,” said Gerard Hayes, HSU National President. “This is a workforce of insecure, underemployed women who often stitch together several casual jobs to make a living. They are leaving in droves.

“Providing money to employers to possibly encourage workers to get vaccinated is not good enough. This policy has more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese. Workers, including casuals, need an ironclad right to paid leave to get vaccinated and recover.

“The federal Government has bungled the rollout, dragged its heels and allowed misinformation to fester. Now it wants to blame aged care workers for not being vaccinated. That takes quite a hide.

“Scott Morrison and Richard Colbeck simply do not understand this workforce and they haven’t tried. This edict will worsen the attraction and retention crisis in aged care.”

Gerard Hayes: 0417 275 821

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