COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs
COVID-19 / 22 October 2021
Following our recent article on vaccination in the Delta environment, we answer more of your FAQs on this, below.
Can I ask new employees to be vaccinated?
Yes. For new employees, employers are free to set the terms of employment, including mandatory vaccinations, provided they comply with human rights laws. We recommend you undertake a risk assessment first to support this, and ensure your recruitment process, from application to offer, reflects this requirement.
Can I make my employees get vaccinated?
In short, no, but, you can require a particular role to be performed by a vaccinated person if a risk assessment identifies this is necessary for work health and safety purposes. There are a number of factors to consider in your risk assessment and we recommend that you implement a vaccination policy along side the assessment.
If there is a government mandate that covers your industry you will be able to rely on the order to require employees to be vaccinated. Employment obligations still apply and we recommend seeking advice to ensure these are met.
Can I ask my employees if they are vaccinated?
Yes, provided it is a reasonable requirement for the role, or you need to know this information in order to assess what control measures to implement. You will need to comply with the Privacy Act 2020 in seeking this information.
If employees decline to provide this information, you must then proceed on the assumption that they are unvaccinated.
My employees don’t want to work with unvaccinated colleagues. What can I do?
You cannot disclose an employees’ vaccination status to other employees without consent and there may be other reasons why the employee can’t be vaccinated, such as underlying health conditions.
Refer back to your risk assessment and talk through other risk management steps that you are taking with employees to provide reassurance.
How can we help?
Our team can assist with the following, on a fixed price/cost estimate basis:
- COVID-19 Vaccination policies along with the necessary risk assessment for roles within the business – $1,000 (plus GST)
- Consultation with staff and unions
- Vaccination clauses for employment agreements
- COVID-19 Temporary Operations Policy tailored to your business and industry
- Advice where employees cannot work due to COVID-19
Disclaimer: We remind you that while this article provides commentary on employment law and health and safety topics, it should not be used as a substitute for legal or professional advice for specific situations. Please seek legal advice from your lawyer for any questions specific to your workplace.