The Newfoundland and Labrador's Nurses' Union says Central Health's new rules on flu shots are too heavy-handed.

Central Newfoundland's health authority says if there's a flu outbreak, health workers who have not been vaccinated would have to go home without pay.

NLNU President Debbie Forward said she doesn't agree with punishing workers for making a personal choice

"It's a backward approach," said Forward.

"Quite frankly our members are quite upset about it. We've heard from nurses. They are upset the employer would take this route in terms of a policy."

Forward said the new rule could have a negative impact on morale, adding that there are better ways — including education — to encourage vaccinations.