New workplace watchdog guide declares mandating jabs for jobs is likely lawful
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.
Principal lawyer at Maurice Blackburn’s employment practice, Kamal Faroque, says it was “inevitable, really, that the guidance would shift”.
“We know that the risks of workplace exposure to COVID are real,” he told Ross and Russel.
“Those workers who are having contact directly with members of the public … there could be circumstances in which mandatory vaccination are necessary.”
Press PLAY below to hear Mr Faroque explain the guidelines