Staff Covid/Flu Shot Obligations?

James Murphy Tax


We have a staff member who has been encouraged to have the Astra Zeneca Vaccine. “As recommended by my doctor and due to existing medical condition, I need to have Vaccine (Astra Zeneca).”

It is for the entire day so have asked if they can submit the day off as sick leave?

If everyone wants a day off to have their Vaccine, where do we stand, Personal (Sick leave)? Can the business choose for it to be paid from the employee’s annual leave also?

The Fairwork website states especially that personal leave can be taken when employees are “unfit” for work, not for a medical check-up or vaccination.

What if someone wants to get the flu shot? It is not covered under sick/personal leave according to what I have read.

Can you advise if this is possible?


Firstly, a business can never choose for any payment to be taken from an individual’s annual leave unless it is mutually agreed to by the employee, otherwise, it is personal (sick leave).

While you are correct in what Fairwork is saying, this is during the norm,  so what it comes down to is that it depends on your company’s policy relating to Personal/Sick leave.

In many instances, where employees have chosen to receive this significant vaccine (Covid), businesses have opted for supporting their employees by eliminating the need to choose between earning their wages and protecting their well-being.

They have done this by making allowances and by providing them with a personal day/ sick day off to recover in case of reaction, etc. as paying 1 day’s personal day/sick day off is better prevention than if they were to contact Covid and require the further use of this leave.

This has been done on a case-to-case basis especially for those with underlying health issues, this is critical.

Regarding the regular annual flu shot, some companies or businesses opt to have this done for their employees in-house during work hours. Otherwise, the employee can be paid sick leave if the business so chooses to, or if the lost time is only a couple of hours, possibly offer time in lieu.