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'Have a heart' Tánaiste says employers who don’t give time off for vaccinations should be named and shamed

'We’re saying to employers in those circumstances you really should let your employee get their vaccine… and not penalise them financially'


Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar

Employers who do not give their staff time off to go and get vaccinated should be named and shamed, Leo Varadkar has said.

Speaking on Newstalk today Mr Varadkar also said that the vaccination portal will be opened for those aged 16 and 17 quite soon.

“It’s open now to everyone 18 and over, and there’s no reason why we cant have everyone 18 and over fully vaccinated by the end of August or early September,” Mr Varadkar told Pat Kenny.

“We’re going to open to 16 and 17 year olds quite soon, there’s an issue around parental consent but we should be able to sort that out,” he said.

The government is also looking at extending vaccination to those aged between 12 and 15, although he says that is “a bit more complicated”.

In the UK advice has been not to vaccinate children between 12 and 15. The government are currently waiting on advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC)

“What I expect they will recommend is that for high risk children who have conditions aged 12 to 15 that we would go ahead with vaccination. More broadly, we have to wait until we see their advice,” said Mr Varadkar.

He also called on employers to “have a heart” when dealing with their employees’ vaccine appointments, or else they should be “named and shamed”.

People have reported being docked wages for attending vaccination appointments during working hours.

“At the moment because the vaccination programme is going so well, people are registering for their vaccine and they’re getting an appointment for a day, two days, three days time and their shifts might already be set out,” said Mr Varadkar.

“We’re saying to employers in those circumstances you really should let your employee get their vaccine… and not penalise them financially. It is in your interest that your staff are vaccinated for all sorts of obvious reasons,” he added.

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He said he would like to “a bit of naming and shaming” of employers not co-operating.

“I’d certainly like to see people let us know about businesses and employers that are behaving in that way,” he said.

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