The new rules for authorised workers are causing uncertainty and stress as workers scramble to get vaccinated in a week, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union NSW & ACT says.
Under these rules announced last Friday, by August 30, workers leaving the local government areas of concern for work must either have at least one vaccination, produce a medical exemption showing they cannot be vaccinated, or show proof they have had a rapid antigen test at work.
What we are seeing is that some of our members have only been able to get vaccination appointments for September. They’re now worried that they will be unable to work until they can be vaccinated.
Rapid antigen testing should be provided by the state government at authorised workplaces, not by employers.
The costs of operating testing programs act as a disincentive for employers, meaning that many workers will not have an opportunity to participate in rapid antigen testing programs.
Quotes attributable to Robyn Fortescue, Acting State Secretary AMWU NSW & ACT
“Essential workers are trying to do the right thing and get vaccinated but navigating the booking system and finding appointments has proved challenging. The government needs to give more than a week’s notice when making major announcements that impact workers."
“We need clarity from government on whether workers with a September vaccination appointment, who don’t have access to rapid testing will be able to access financial support if they lose work hours.”
“The burden of complying with these rules has been shifted onto individual workers, when it should be on government and employers to step up and support authorised workers during this time.”
Media contact – Sophia Morris - 0400 889 166 - [email protected]