26 September 2023

Public sector gets time out for a shot

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Members of the Victorian Public Sector have been offered half a day off at full pay to receive vaccination against COVID-19.

Announced by the Minister for Health, Martin Foley, the offer is available to all staff members including nurses, teachers, ambulance officers, police, firefighters and other public sector workers as an example for other Victorian employers to follow.

“The new arrangements apply to full-time and part-time staff and long-term and regular casuals at Departments and administrative Offices, Statutory Authorities, Government schools, TAFE institutes, police and emergency services, water and land management Authorities and other public entities,” Mr Foley said.

“All public sector workers are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible,” he said.

“The paid time off to get vaccinated applies in addition to accrued sick leave, which can be used if people experience adverse side effects.”

Mr Foley said the program was subject to the usual operational requirements for taking time off and did not displace any more generous arrangements already in place.

The Minister said the offer was part of the State’s drive to administer one million doses of the vaccine in five weeks from 16 August.

He said more than half a million doses had already been delivered through State-run vaccination centres since 30 July.

“We’re continuing to ask all Victorians – if you’re eligible please get vaccinated – it’s our ticket out of this pandemic,” Mr Foley said.

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