COVID-19 vaccinations & the workplace (AU Gov – read/download)

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The below text is taken directly from the FairWork website - 23 March 2021. You can download the excerpt as a PDF at the bottom of the page.

Published 26 January 2021 | Updated 3 March 2021

Employers and employees are seeking clarity on their workplace rights and obligations as COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccines become available in Australia. This page provides information and guidance in response to common questions we’ve received about coronavirus vaccinations and the workplace.

While the information on this page provides high-level information and guidance, employers and employees should consider getting legal advice about their own particular circumstances.

We’ve observed how well employers and employees have worked together to find solutions that work for their individual needs and workplaces throughout the pandemic. We encourage employers and employees to continue taking this collaborative approach when discussing, planning for and facilitating coronavirus vaccinations in the workplace.

In the current circumstances, the overwhelming majority of employers should assume that they won’t be able to require their employees to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

There are currently no laws or public health orders in Australia that specifically enable employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against coronavirus. The Australian Government’s policy is that receiving a vaccination is voluntary, although it aims to have as many Australians vaccinated as possible.

There are, however, limited circumstances where an employer may require their employees to be vaccinated.

Read on for more information about the factors that might warrant this.

Information about when, and how, vaccinations are being rolled out is available from the Australian Department of Health external-icon.png, including information about priority groups (and industries) and phases for availability.

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