BaptistCare announces extra support to access COVID-19 vaccination

We’ve just received word from BaptistCare that they are putting in place additional measures to help staff to access the COVID-19 vaccination.

This is a positive initiative and we welcome this extra support. BaptistCare has announced the following measures:

Full time and Part time Residential Employees

BaptistCare is adding one additional day (7.6 hours) of personal leave to employees’ leave balances, to assist them to have a COVID-19 vaccination. This will give BaptistCare employees an additional paid personal leave day they can use to have their vaccination or if they need time following their vaccination to recover from any mild side effects. All full-time and part-time residential employees will be given the additional day of personal leave.

Casual Residential Employees

While casual employees have no entitlement to personal leave, upon providing evidence of their vaccination, casual employees will be entitled to payment for one four-hour shift to assist them to have the COVID-19 vaccination. They can use the paid shift either on the day they have the vaccination or the day after their vaccination if they experience any mild side effects.

All staff working in aged care are frontline health workers. We welcome proactive measures such as this which help to keep you, your family and the residents you care for safe and protected from the effects of this virus.

However, as frontline health workers, we cannot accept that your critical roles continue to be undervalued and poorly paid. In December last year, BaptistCare paid only a 1.8% wage increase to staff. That doesn’t reflect the value of your work and it doesn’t acknowledge the crucial role you have in keeping residents safe through this pandemic.

It is clear that wages across the whole aged care sector are chronically undervalued. That is why the HSU is running our landmark legal case, calling for a 25% increase to the pay rates in the Aged Care Award.

You deserve to be properly valued for the critical work you do. You deserve a real wage increase. We will keep fighting for better wages and conditions across all aged care.

If you have any questions about these new measures to support staff, please contact the HSU for assistance.