Workers Compensation

Victoria’s ‘authorised worker’ vaccine mandate

By LHD Lawyers

With Australia racing to hit vaccination targets, Victoria has introduced a mandate which requires approximately a third of Victoria’s workers to be vaccinated in order to continue working. Victoria’s “Authorised Worker” Vaccine Mandate requires those included on the large list of authorised workers to have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccination by November 26.

With concerns around discrimination, human rights violations and bodily autonomy, the mandate is seen as controversial by many, who face losing their jobs should they choose not to comply.

What is the “Authorised Worker” Vaccine Mandate in Victoria?

Legislation surrounding the mandating of vaccination varies from state to state. With Melbourne being considered the ‘most locked down city in the world’, Victoria has implemented an “Authorised Worker” Vaccine Mandate. This means all permitted providers and workers must be fully vaccinated by November 26 unless they have a medical exemption.

Who is on Victoria’s “Authorised Worker” list?

Victoria’s Roadmap to reopening after such long lockdowns is a plan for how the state can both safely reopen as well as ensuring the health system is not overloaded. Having such a Roadmap in place will ensure Victorians receive the healthcare they may require without excessive waits or lack of hospital beds.

Permitted workers and providers are required to have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by November 26 or they are unable to attend workplaces outside their home. According to the vaccination rules Victoria, this “Authorised Worker” list includes:

  • Accommodation workers
  • Agriculture and forestry workers
  • Airport workers
  • Ancillary, support and welfare services workers
  • Authorised Officers
  • Care facility workers
  • Community workers
  • Creative arts workers
  • Custodial workers
  • Emergency service workers
  • Entertainment and function workers
  • Funeral workers
  • Higher education workers
  • Justice Service Centres
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Marriage celebrants
  • Meat and seafood processing workers
  • Media and film production workers
  • Mining workers
  • Physical recreation workers
  • Religious workers
  • Port and freight workers
  • Professional sports, high-performance sports or racing persons
  • Professional services workers
  • Public sector employees
  • Real estate workers
  • Repair and maintenance workers
  • Retail workers (including workers at food & drink facilities; licensed premises)
  • Science and technology workers
  • Social and Community Workers
  • Transport workers
  • Utility or urban workers
  • Veterinary and pet/animal care workers

Does this mandate also apply to contractors and volunteers?

Yes. It is not just full-time workers who are required to adhere to the “Authorised Worker” Vaccine Mandate; with contractors and volunteers aged 11 and older, also required to be vaccinated.

Who will be responsible for enforcing these rules?

It is the responsibility of your employer to provide you with a permit to work and to ensure all employees on site have a valid permit. This permit shows proof of vaccination status. Authorised officers also have the ability to attend workplaces which house permitted workers and enact fines on employers and employees if they are found not to be complying with the mandate.

Is there a fine for not following these rules?

If you do not meet the authorised workers vaccination mandate requirements, you will not be fined although your employer will not be allowed to grant you access to your workplace. Providing false information to your employer about your vaccination status however, can incur large fines, at $10,904.40 for individuals.

Will there be any exemptions?

Yes. You will not be required to have the COVID-19 vaccination if you have a medical exemption.

Determined by ATAGI clinical guidance, the list of medical exemptions for vaccines includes:

  • If you have a medical contra-indication to COVID-19 vaccines.
  • You have an acute medical illness (which can include a COVID-19 infection).

A medical exemption is determined by an authorised medical practitioner who can provide you with a certificate or letter which states that you are exempt from vaccination. Medical practitioners who can provide you with this letter include general practice registrars on an approved 3GA training placement, public health physicians, infections disease physicals and clinical immunologists.

Make a vaccine mandate related workers’ compensation claim today

If you have been affected by Victoria’s “Authorised Worker” Vaccine Mandate or are unclear on what it means for you and your employment, seeking legal advice can help clarify your situation. LHD Lawyers help everyday Australians receive the benefits they are entitled to for Workers Compensation claims. We are so sure of our abilities to win your case that we stand firmly by our No Win No Fee Policy: if we don’t win, you don’t pay. Call 1800 455 725 for a no-obligation consultation about your case.

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