Are Employers across Ireland obliged to have to pay Employees for time off to attend a vaccination?
Firstly, under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act and HSA guidelines, Employers must advise Employees of the benefits of the Covid-19 Vaccination. There is no question as to the Employer’s obligation in both providing such information and encouraging a vaccinated workforce.
Secondly, in accordance with Employment Law, any Employee who is not paid to attend a vaccination appointment will be entitled to put in a claim with the Workplace Relations Commission. Time paid for vaccinations should include the time of the vaccinations as well as travel time to and from vaccination.
Should an Employer decide not to pay an Employee to be vaccinated, they will also be in breach of their obligation to ensure the safety of workers under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, and therefore in this case, the Employee is also entitled to take a concurrent claim with the HSA.
For the avoidance of doubt, the answer is Yes! Employers absolutely must provide paid time off to attend vaccination appointments, or risk costly claims at the WRC and HSA which they will have very little chance of winning!