The Government is currently working on laws that will require employers to pay their employees while they are away from work in order to get vaccinated against Covid-19. 

In the meantime, although it is not a legal requirement, the Government is still encouraging employers to allow their employees to have paid time off work to travel to and from their appointments and to get vaccinated.  

Employers who have decided that they will require their employees to be vaccinated (after completing a Health and Safety Assessment), or who are mandated to employ vaccinated employees, will be particularly interested in ensuring they support their employees to get vaccinated as soon as possible so that their business can continue to operate. 

Employers and employees are required to deal with each other in good faith which includes talking about issues and working together to reach an agreed outcome.

Employees should for instance try to schedule their vaccination appointments at a time that does not cause unnecessary interruptions to the operations of the business they are employed in, where possible. 

Employees should also give their employers advance notice of when they will be away, so that cover can be arranged.  Employers are encouraged to support their employees and to accommodate their employees’ work commitments so that vaccination can take place without undue delay. 

What happens if an employee feels unwell after being vaccinated and needs time off work?

If an employee feels unwell after their vaccination and are unable to return to work, they can ask their employer for paid time off work (sick leave).  Employees that been employed for 6 continue months, will have 10 days of sick leave allocated to them per year. 

Where an employee is not yet entitled to sick leave, or they have used up all their sick leave, they can talk to their employer about taking sick leave in advance, or they can ask to take unpaid leave.  The employer does not have to agree to either, but may wish to do so rather than to have an unwell employee at work. 

If an employee suffer a serious reaction which prevents them from attending work for more than 7 days then they may be eligible for benefits from the Accident Compensation Commission.

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