While Australian government is endeavoring to pace up the COVID vaccination drive in Australia, one of the four major banks is perhaps creating an obstacle by refusing to allow special leave to get vaccinated.
National Australia Bank (NAB) is alone among Australia’s major banks to reject a proposal by the Finance Sector Union (FSU) for special COVID-19 vaccination leave for its staff.
FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano said more than 123,000 finance sector workers were now covered by the new leave, assisting them to access a jab.
“Unfortunately NAB has rejected the leave proposal, making the bank an outlier among the largest corporation in the finance sector which have granted COVID-19 leave including CBA, Westpac, ANZ, Australian Super, HESTA and Care Super,” Ms Angrisano said.
In a letter to NAB, Ms Angrisano said: “Paid vaccination leave is now becoming an industry standard and now all the other banks have introduced paid vaccination leave on top of existing COVID-19 leave arrangements”.
“NAB has important opportunity to join the companies who are making a positive contribution to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“With many of your staff and our members in Victoria having just come out of their fourth lockdown, and the COVID-19 situation in NSW worsening, now is the time for you to provide your staff with best practice entitlements of two days of paid vaccination leave”.
“The NAB joining the other big four banks in providing paid vaccination leave would send a powerful message to the community that we need to lift our vaccination rates. It would also set an example for other organisations in the finance sector,” Ms Angrisano said.
Many employees of the bank hail from multicultural backgrounds and migrant families who are hard pressed for time and money in making their ends meet in the current environment and can ill afford to lose a day’s pay – just to do the right thing – get a jab not only to secure their own safety but the safety of people around them and thus the society at large.
It would be only help if this large bank with 35000 plus (2016figure) workforce joins the government’s effort to encourage and get all Australians vaccinated as soon as possible.