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Fujitsu’s 3,600 staff given a day’s paid leave to get jabbed

·3-min read
Fujitsu's Australian and New Zealand staff are being given a day's paid leave to get vaccinated. (Photo by Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto)
Fujitsu's Australian and New Zealand staff are being given a day's paid leave to get vaccinated. (Photo by Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto)

Japanese-headquartered information technology company Fujitsu has announced it will offer its 3,600-strong workforce in Australia and New Zealand a day’s paid leave to get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccination.

The company is offering all of its workers half a day of paid leave to receive each dose of the vaccine, coming to a full day in total.

This is also being offered for staff to support an immediate family member with getting the vaccine.

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The company is covering its direct employees and those of contracted agencies engaged by Fujitsu.

Futjisu Australia and New Zealand CEO Graeme Beardsell said he believed large employers need to step up and participate in the countries’ vaccination roll-outs.

“By offering employees and contractors flexibility in their schedule and, in the case of employees, not requiring them to use their annual or sick leave to receive vaccinations, Fujitsu is demonstrating our commitment to their health and wellbeing,” Beardsell said.

"Organisations that are committed to their employees’ physical and mental wellbeing should play their part in helping address the challenge of COVID-19, by making it as easy as possible for staff who are eligible and want to get vaccinated to do so."

Aussie companies join vaccine rollout

Several Australian companies have already made moves to provide vaccines to employees, with the Commonwealth Bank and Westpac both in the process of piloting a vaccine program.

Supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths have also secured priority access to the Pfizer vaccine, with their frontline employees now considered essential workers.

Meanwhile, other companies and industries are beginning to mandate vaccines in the workplace, including fruit and vegetable processor SPC. Staff have six weeks to schedule a vaccine or be barred from coming into the workplace.

And construction workers from the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool and Parramatta LGAs will have to meet certain vaccination requirements before they’re allowed back to work.

Qantas has also offered employed staff a day’s leave to get vaccinated, but came under fire from the transport union for failing to also cover contracted staff.

The NSW Government has announced two hours of paid vaccine leave for its public sector workers.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged employers in the state to “please put pressure” on staff to get vaccinated.

Less than 23 per cent of Australia’s population has had both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

What leave do I use to get my vaccine?

Each company will have its own leave policy when it comes to taking time off to get the vaccine, so it’s best to speak to your employer or HR director.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is urging companies to give workers time off without losing income.

“In the limited circumstances where an employer can require their employees to be vaccinated against coronavirus, the employer should: cover an employee’s travel costs; [and] if the vaccination appointment is during work hours, allow them to attend the appointment without loss of pay,” the Fair Work website states.

Employers should work together with their staff to discuss flexible work arrangements to support employees in getting vaccinated, Fair Work said.

“These arrangements could include: requesting and taking leave (for example, annual leave or unpaid leave); starting work later or finishing early (to help attend a vaccination appointment around work hours); [and] working from home (to help an employee attend a local vaccination appointment).”

Health authorities and government leaders have been united in encouraging higher vaccination rates as NSW, Victoria and Queensland scramble to contain the highly contagious Delta outbreaks of COVID-19.

NSW recorded its highest number of daily cases on record this morning, with 356 locally acquired cases overnight.

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