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Workplace watchdog gives green light for mandatory COVID-19 jabs

Gareth Parker
Article image for Workplace watchdog gives green light for mandatory COVID-19 jabs

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements for frontline workers in areas experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks are likely to be legal under new guidelines released by Australia’s workplace watchdog.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has unveiled a four-tier system outlining when it’s lawful for bosses to make vaccination a condition of employment.

Under the guidelines, border control, quarantine, healthcare and aged care organisations are “more likely” to be permitted to mandate jabs for workers.

Workers at essential businesses in COVID hotspots are also “likely” to be able to make vaccination compulsory for staff, according to the four-tier guide.

Previously, the workplace watchdog’s guidelines to employers were that they were “overwhelmingly” unable to require staff to be vaccinated.

Safe Work Australia chair Diane Smith-Gander told Gareth Parker not all businesses will take the step to mandate vaccines. 

“I think it is really unlikely that we are going to see a lot of small businesses taking this step,” she said.

“I think what we are going to be expecting is classes of industry are going to see mandating for vaccinating.”

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Gareth Parker
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