Hospitality workers come into contact with hundreds of people every day. In order to protect ourselves and our community from the highly transmissible Delta variant of Covid-19, we need a minimum of one day of paid vaccination leave for each injection.
This leave must be funded by the Federal Government and paid at the minimum wage.
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Throughout 2020 and 2021 hospitality venues, our workplaces, have time and again been Covid exposure sites. Making sure hospo workers are vaccinated is a national priority.
But with 80% of us being employed on a casual basis, and our jobs the most insecure they’ve ever been, most of us can’t afford to take time off to get vaccinated. Especially when some employers punish us for taking time off work, even when we’re sick or injured.
Workers have told us that, “our jobs were threatened if we didn’t work whilst sick or awaiting Covid test results,” and that employers, “would guilt us into coming into work if we were sick even throughout the pandemic.”
If our Federal Government is serious about protecting people in Australia they will introduce a guaranteed right to vaccination leave and insist that everyone who needs to be vaccinated can access it. We shouldn’t have to choose between our livelihood and our health, or between being able to pay rent and the health of our families.
Hospitality is one of the most insecure industries in the country. The vast majority of us don’t have access to paid sick leave and are among the lowest-paid workers. We can’t afford to take time off work to get vaccinated.
Everyone should be safe at work, but without vaccinations, we aren’t safe. And without vaccination leave, we can’t protect ourselves and others. Without vaccinations we will catch the virus from our customers and pass it onto our workmates, our families and to other patrons.
The Morrison government must immediately introduce a minimum of two days of paid vaccination leave for hospitality workers who want to get vaccinated. If any worker has a reaction to the vaccine and needs more time off they should be able to get it.
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