I don’t know if you read this article in the Lamp, but there was an article featured about employees driving home extremely fatigued after a long shift or a night shift and driving fatigued to work in the mornings. There was a question whether employers should find a way to get their employees to and from work.
In Australia, our employers expect us to get to and from work on our own accord. Legally, we are covered on the way to and from work provided we drive direct should we get into an accident and get injured. [NB: since 2012 there has been no coverage in NSW. You must belong to your union to get hourney accident insurance coverage.] But, is this enough?
In Israel (I’m not sure if they do this anywhere else in the world), companies (most companies that is) pick up their employees in the morning via a bus or mini bus and drop them home in the evening. Not only that they also feed their staff, if not for free then at a ridiculously small amount of money. The companies offer a hot breakfast or a cereal and toast breakfast, lunch and for those that work late dinner. This is the way they make sure productivity stays at its peak. This also stops people from arriving late in the mornings due to “traffic” etc. The rate of accidents related to tiredness due to work has fallen substantially, where as accidents from fatigue are on the rise here in Australia.
I know that at one of the facilities that belong to our provider had an issue with casual staff being unable to get to work on weekends due to the public transportation timetable (or lack of it) and their agency usage was through the roof. Trying to fix this issue the Director of Nursing spoke with the staff and encouraged a car pool on those days and the facility would pay for the petrol usage on the weekend if they came to work. But is that fair? For one person to have to use their personal car to pick up 3 other staff from all over the place and drive them all into work and then after a long shift at work to have to drive them all home? And then are they covered if they have an accident as they are not driving directly home?
Just imagine if we didn’t have to worry about driving to work, fighting the traffic, finding a park or paying for parking, or having to drive home from work when we are really tired after a long hard shift. Then whilst we are at work and it is time for a meal break we are able be fed a nice array of healthy salads and different breads, or a hot meal all at the cost of the employer or at a really cheap price? That would be good for nurses’ waist lines wouldn’t it? Instead of the junk we often grab because it is cheap and easy.
How do you feel about it? What do you think? Should our employers be responsible getting us to and from work? And as an added bonus feed us? Or should we be responsible getting ourselves to and from work?
Photo source: clix (via sxc.hu)