July 23, 2021
Tánaiste must act to ensure workers can attend vaccination appointments – Louise O’Reilly TD

Speaking this afternoon, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said it is not good enough for the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, to say workers should name and shame employers who do not allow them time off to attend vaccination appointments.

The Workers’ Rights spokesperson said that he should be working with the Minister for Health to ensure there are extra out-of-hours clinics and also engaging with employers on the matter.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“If the Tánaiste was serious about ensuring workers had the time to attend their vaccination appointments then perhaps, he should have used emergency legislation to guarantee protected time for workers to receive the Covid19 vaccine.

“It is not good enough for him to say workers should name and shame employers who are making it difficult for them to take time off to get vaccinated.

“As Minister with responsibility for workers’ rights, he should be bringing solutions to the table.

“At the top of the list of solutions he should be working with the Minister for Health to ensure there is extra out-of-hours clinics, so workers do not miss out on the opportunity to get their vaccination as soon as possible.

“In addition, he should also be speaking with employers and their representative bodies and compelling them to ensure workers are not stopped from taking time off to receive their Covid19 vaccine.

“It is long past time the Tánaiste realised he’s not a commentator, but an actual Minister with the powers to get things done. Instead of talking about issues in the media he might consider getting behind his desk and actually resolving these problems.”

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