Friday 8 October 2021

The Victorian Government released the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions overnight. These directions commence at 11.59pm Thursday 7 October and are currently set to end at 11.59pm Thursday 21 October. 

Advice from DJPR, and experience with previous workplace directions, indicates these directions will remain in place post 21 October 2021.

Click here for the full COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions >

Dates
The relevant dates for meat and seafood processing workers and retailers are:

  • 15 October 2021 – Relevant date
  • 22 October 2021 – First dose deadline
  • 26 November 2021 – Second dose deadline.

*The relevant date refers to the date an employer must have collected information for workers.

Collecting, Recording and Holding Vaccination Information
By 15 October 2021, employers must collect, record and hold vaccination information if the worker is working outside their place of residence, for example for any worker who is not working from home.

If by 15 October 2021, a worker is unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, the employer must collect, record and hold information as to whether the worker has a booking for a vaccination by 22 October 2021. 

After 15 October 2021 employers must ensure unvaccinated workers do not work outside ordinary place of residence unless they have a booking to receive the first dose of a vaccine by 22 October 2021.

Proof of vaccination or vaccination booking can be provided by a range of documents such as a letter from a medical practitioner, a certificate of immunisation or an immunisation history statement obtained from the Australian Immunisation Register.

If a worker refuses to provide vaccination information, the employer must treat the worker as if the worker is unvaccinated.

Notification to Workers
An employer must, as soon as reasonably practicable, inform each worker of the requirements for employers to collect, record and hold vaccination information about the worker. They must notify workers that an employer cannot permit a worker who is unvaccinated to work for that employer outside the worker’s ordinary place of residence unless an exception applies.

Exemptions
An exemption to the vaccination requirement will apply if a person holds certification from a medical practitioner that the person is unable to receive a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine due to a medical contraindication or an acute medical illness.

A medical certification is valid until the earlier of either the date specified by a medical practitioner or 6 months from the date certification was given.  

Penalties
Penalties for failing to comply with these directions apply to both workers and employers, ranging from approximately $5,400 to $109,000.

Managing Workers who do not meet the requirements
An employer doesn’t have to pay an employee when either the federal or a state or territory government or officer makes an enforceable government direction that prevents an employee from working.

Click here for information on standing down employees under the General Fair Work Act stand down provisions >

For more information, as and when it is published, visit VIC Government COVID-19 updates >

AMIC will continue to keep all members updated on any changes and restrictions, and please call us if you need assistance, we are here to help.