Employers that dock pay for vaccine appointments should be 'named and shamed' - Varadkar


Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.14 22 Jul 2021


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The Tánaiste has said people need to "name and shame" employers that are docking pay or making workers pay back time missed for vaccine appointments.

It comes amid multiple reports of people being docked pay for the time they miss to get a vaccination.

Others say they’ve been asked to reschedule their appointment for a day they’re not working.

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Tánaiste and Business Minister Leo Varadkar told The Pat Kenny Show there should be no need for this to be causing issues.

He said: “A bit of name and shaming might help - I’d certainly like to see people let us know about companies and employers that are behaving in that way.

“This is a little bit like a medical appointment - it’s usually possible with a bit of common sense, on both sides, to arrange working times around it.”

He urged employers to “have a heart”, especially when appointments are given at very short notice.

The current speed of the vaccination programme means people who register today may get an appointment in just a few days’ time - hence working hours may need to be rearranged quickly.

However, Mr Varadkar said it’s in an employer’s interests that their staff are vaccinated, so they should do their best to allow time off for vaccine appointments.

Richard Grogan - Employment and Personal Injury Law Solicitor - spoke to Lunchtime Live about the issue, and explained that employers are "legally obliged" to let their staff get vaccinated when it's their turn.

He said: “It doesn’t matter whether they’re seasonal workers or any kind of worker.

“[Not allowing it] is victimisation of the employee. The employee can bring the [employer] down to the Workplace Relations Commission, say ‘this is the obligation of the employer… I wasn’t allowed go… can I have compensation please?’ That compensation could be up to two years’ wages - that’s how serious this is.

“This is a health and safety requirement… this is part and parcel of having a safe workplace. You’re obliged as an employer to actually encourage staff to get vaccinated.”

Main image: File photo. Picture by: Jin Mamengni/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

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