Progress for Mandated Employee Vaccination

by Jan 24, 2022All Posts, Covid 19, WH&S

Recently a national employer enforced mandatory vaccination for its businesses in Victoria and Western Australia to comply with the state public health orders issued.

Upon review of COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plans in remaining operating states, the employer determined the implementation of mandatory vaccination as the most effective and suitable method to contain the rapid spread of the virus and reduce disruption to the employer’s business operations across the country.

This was determined in consideration of prior September COVID-19 outbreaks within Sydney and Melbourne company locations, which saw 35 employees required to self-isolate and an additional 57 sent home due to casual contact tracing. If the Brisbane operation were to see a similar virus spread, it could have the potential to see half of the Queensland container stevedoring capacity compromised and greatly affect the countries commercial and personal supply chain.

It was noted that the employee reasoning for refusing vaccination was weak, with no particular risks presented by any vaccines currently on offer, and the employee case was deemed as not overly compelling. It was further reasoned that the potential for mandated vaccination will increase as borders reopen to decrease the impact upon businesses, particularly those of the personal and commercial supply chain as disruption in this sector will impede upon societal ability to isolate.

The findings of this industrial case held on the 11th of November, 2021, saw the employer temporarily withdraw the mandate with no action of employee dismissal to be actioned until the 31st of December, 2021.  Justice Logan requested further submissions from both parties and set another hearing for late December. In response, it is likely that changes will occur affecting the employer’s capacity to mandate such safety measures in the near future. AHR will continue to follow these proceedings and update you on the ruling determined and explain how this may influence your business.

Assurance HR can assist with the development or review of COVID-19 Safety Management Plans for your business having successfully assisted many businesses to comply and update in accordance with legislation development and industrial law findings. Call Assurance HR on 1800 577 515 to discuss your business-specific needs today.

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