NSW approves two-hour vaccine leave for public workers
Australia’s state of New South Wales has approved two hours of paid vaccine leave for public sector employees as it tries to contain the spread of COVID-19 among essential workers.
“Agencies may … provide access to special leave of up to two hours or an equivalent payment at base rate of pay,” said that state government in a communication to its agencies, according to The Guardian.
The two-hour vaccine leave will be offered on top of existing leave entitlements. If a worker experiences side effects from the vaccine, they can apply for paid sick leave.
The state government also encourages flexible working arrangements so that vaccine appointments can be scheduled for the estimated 400,000 workers employed by the state, highlighted in a circular from the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Managers have also been instructed to assess vaccine leave applications such that the frontline delivery of public services is not disrupted. They can also request proof of vaccination appointments for such leave requests.
The guidelines for the vaccination leave apply to all government departments, including education, health, the police and other emergency workers. It extends also to separate agencies related to departments and state-owned corporations.