Loan provider Lendi Group is leading a nation-wide push for companies to offer workers paid leave for COVID-19 vaccines, and is calling on other businesses to do the same.
Lendi Group, Prospa, Zip Co, Honey Insurance, Athena, Valiant Finance and Domain Group today launched the Great Aussie Vaccine Drive, which involves offering paid leave to employees to get both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine without dipping into their annual or sick leave.
David Hyman, chief executive of Lendi Group, tells SmartCompany he hopes the campaign will help Australians become vaccinated quicker and work towards opening the economy back up.
“We’re certainly doing this to drive awareness around the issue of vaccines and we’ve been overwhelmed with businesses signing up in the few hours since we opened this morning,” he says.
Last week, Hyman reached out to the other chief executives to see whether they were interested in adopting the same vaccine leave policy he wanted to implement internally.
“I initially spoke to people last Friday and the team did a great job putting together the website over the weekend and we went live this morning,” he says.
Hyman says he was motivated to adopt a COVID-19 vaccine paid leave policy after noticing that the Fair Work Ombudsman’s guidelines requires workers to take annual rather than sick leave if they want to attend a vaccination appointment.
“We wanted businesses to sign up publicly and say they wouldn’t be having their employees do that,” he says.
Businesses interested in participating can go to the website and access free downloadable resources, including FAQs for employees and employers. To sign up, businesses register their company’s details on the website and upload their logo.
Ultimately, Hyman says the campaign is not about convincing people to get vaccinated but rather about helping some of the many Australians currently in COVID-19 lockdowns juggle homeschooling, work-from-home and health commitments.
“We wanted to take one of those stressors off the table and make it really easy for people to go out and get vaxxed,” he says.