Contract and Offsite Workers – Navigating Required Vaccination

by Feb 21, 2022All Posts, Covid 19

The industry of your business may not be covered under a Public Health Order mandating vaccination, and you may have chosen not to mandate such within your business. Within a society that now demands proof of vaccination how do you continue to conduct contract and offsite work if employees aren’t vaccinated?

If you think that this is not applicable to your business, then I urge you to consider the broad range of tasks that compose ‘offsite’ work, such as: meetings in public places and on the premises of other organisations, employees who work across multiple sites (internally and externally), contractors who work within multiple establishments and residences, required flight travel, work events and conferences, training and professional development that require external services, and more.

If mandated vaccination is something that a business does not wish to implement then accommodations need to be made to prioritise offsite work to those who are vaccinated (as some will vaccinate and nominate this by choice), finding alternative tasks and roles for those who are not.  

Businesses can encourage all employees who have been vaccinated to provide evidence of such, in order to ascertain employee eligibility for offsite work and those who are not. However, this task may not be as simple as it sounds, as if you have not mandated vaccination within your business, employees do not need to comply with such a directive.

An alternative to mandatory vaccination for your business is the requirement for, ‘proof of evidence’ of vaccination status inherent to job role. This is not mandating vaccination, but rather requesting evidence that employees are able to carry out the requirements of role, such as regular attendance at offsite locations. If an employee fails to provide such evidence, then they are deemed incapable of fulfilling the requirements of their contracted role and an employer has the right to terminate this employee, pursued in conjunction with workplace policy and Fair Work requirements. Employers should be aware of potential outcomes in response to such substantial actions, such as employee pursuit of unfair dismissal, discrimination, adverse actions, and breach of contract.

Ultimately, if you are in a position where you contract or have employees working offsite regularly as a staple in maintaining business and productivity, mandatory vaccination as a necessary component of an employee’s role may be warranted.

The AHR Team have helped many businesses to navigate the constantly changing HR and WHS issues that surround COVID-19 with expertise in the development of Risk Assessments, Conditions of Entry, Company COVID-19 Directives and the ongoing monitoring and review of such to ensure these align with privacy and discriminatory law. Call Assurance HR on 1800 577 515 to discuss your business specific needs today.

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