The Health Services Union says the government’s plan to make vaccinations mandatory for elderly care workers will see the workforce collapse unless workers have a rock-solid right to paid leave to receive the vaccine and recuperate.
The industry is already suffering from a prolonged attraction and retention crisis due to the lowest wages of $ 21 an hour. The Prime Minister’s announcement that vaccinations will become mandatory will worsen the crisis unless the federal government recognizes this reality.
“Rather than barking orders, the Commknwealth needs to understand the reality of elderly care,” said Gerard Hayes, HSU National President. “This is a workforce made up of precarious and underemployed women who often combine several casual jobs to earn a living. They are leaving en masse.
“Providing money to employers to possibly encourage workers to get vaccinated is not enough. This policy has more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese. Workers, including casuals, need a solid right to paid time off to get vaccinated and recover.
“The federal government has missed the deployment, dragged its heels and allowed misinformation to fester. Now he wants to blame elderly caregivers for not getting vaccinated. It takes quite a skin.
“Scott Morrison and Richard Colbeck just don’t understand this workforce and they haven’t tried. This edict will worsen the attraction and retention crisis in the care of the elderly.
Gérard Hayes: 0417 275 821
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