Australia is strictly going ahead with plans to get its employees vaccinated at workplace. Employer groups and unions have agreed with the government after months of back-and-forth discussions.
The positive outcome is a result of discussions between Industrial Relations Minister Michaelia Cash and a roundtable of 50 leaders from unions, employer groups and government representatives last week.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker was also there to speak to the chosen group of fresh advice for employers to consider making Covid vaccine mandatory for workers. All stakeholders have now decided to work in unison to get the spread rate down. For this, full vaccination across the industries would be necessary.
However, this would also mean businesses will have to seek legal advice whether such a move of mandatory vaccination is allowed and does not violate labor rights in anyway.
According to Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox, “Mandating of vaccinations will not be appropriate in all workplaces, but it will be for some. It will not be surprising if more businesses that are public facing or have workers in proximity announce decisions to mandate vaccinations over the months ahead.”
Though most agree for the safety and wellbeing of their staff and workers, making vaccine mandatory, could have adverse effects as well. ACTU Secretary Sally McManus warned a blanket ruling could cause division and conflict within workplaces.
“Last year we saw what can be achieved when everyone works together in the national interest. This is what we should do, and not let vaccines become a source of conflict in our workplaces and community,” she said. “The only way to beat this virus is with the vaccine, we need to do everything we can to get people vaccinated, and the best way to do that is by working together. Division will cost us time we do not have.” According to Fair Work, a four-tier system set out last week should give us positive answers. This process will determine when an employer mandating the Covid-19 vaccine would be reasonable. It replaced previous advice that employers would not be able to require employees to have the jab.