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Mandatory Vaccination Update

Government mandates

There are currently government mandated vaccination requirements in each state. These vary significantly and are constantly changing.

As an employer, it is important that you are aware of these requirements and complying with them to avoid penalties.

Due to the fact the requirements are changing rapidly, we have linked the current requirements below for each state.

NSW

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/business/covid-safe-business/vaccination-rules

VIC

https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/information-workers-required-be-vaccinated

QLD

https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/vaccination-requirements-for-workers-in-high-risk-settings

WA

https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/COVID19-vaccination-program/Mandatory-COVID19-vaccination

TAS

https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/business-and-employees/vaccination-requirements

SA

https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/emergency-declarations

NT

https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/business-and-work/mandatory-vaccinations

ACT

https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/stay-safe-and-healthy/vaccine/information-for-employees-that-require-vaccination

Company imposed mandatory vaccination requirements

We have seen many businesses implement companywide mandatory vaccination policies, beyond the government mandated requirements.

Generally speaking, an employer can require employees to be vaccinated if:

  • A specific law requires it (e.g. a government mandated vaccination requirement) or
  • It would be lawful and reasonable

When considering whether a mandatory vaccination policy is lawful and reasonable, each company needs to be looked at on a case-to-case basis. The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has published specific advice related to the factors that should be considered. See here.

A recent case before the Fair Work Commission (FWC) highlighted the importance of consultation for businesses who are implementing a mandatory vaccination policy. In the case Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union, Mr Matthew Howard v Mt Arthur Coal Pty Ltd T/A Mt Arthur Coal [2021] FWCFB 6059 the FWC ruled that BHP failed to consult with its workers regarding a mandatory vaccination policy, failing to seek their input. Subsequently, the full bench of the Fair Work Commission determined that the direction was unreasonable.

For organisations seeking to implement a mandatory vaccination policy, you should ensure that you share the relevant information with employees and give them an opportunity to share their views and participate in the decision-making process.

For more information on the above, please contact us on 1300 887 458 and speak with one  of our HR Consultants. If you are interested in learning more about our HR services, including HR OutsourcingHR ConsultingHR Advisory Services, contact us at enquiries@liquidhr.com.au.