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Vaccination and the workplace

Resources for employers to understand workplace laws, obligations and entitlements in relation to COVID-19 vaccination.

Fair Work Ombudsman

The Ombudsman helps stakeholders understand their rights and responsibilities at work during the coronavirus pandemic. The ombudsman has a special COVID-19 micro-website that covers workplace laws, obligations and entitlements in relation to vaccination.

Safe Work Australia

Safe Work has developed specific industry COVID-19 vaccine information hubs with information for employers, small businesses and workers on the COVID-19 vaccines. SafeWork also has relevant information about COVID-19 and potential implications for workplace health and safety.

Workers’ compensation

In some circumstances, an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccination may be a compensable workplace injury. icare recently released some information on how claims for adverse reactions to vaccinations may be dealt with. Employers should talk with their insurer about any specific cases/claims they may have.

icare has also announced that it will exclude COVID-19 claims and COVID-19 vaccination claims from the individual claims experience of Nominal Insurer policy holders to protect any individual employer or industries from disproportionately being impacted by COVID-19. Employers should speak with their insurer regarding their own individual circumstances and how a COVID claim may or may not impact their premium. The SIRA website has further information for employers regarding these issues.

Stress Leave and COVID-19 vaccination

If workers who were taking stress leave were to make a workers compensation claim for a psychological injury related to their concerns about exposure to COVID or vaccination then each claim would be reviewed and determined on its own individual merits and with consideration to the relevant tests within the legislation.

Employers must consult with their workers to understand concerns they may have about returning to the workplace or having a vaccination and consider the personal circumstances of workers such as if they are classified as a vulnerable worker. Keeping workers informed of their entitlements, involved in decision making, and acknowledging and addressing the psychological health and safety risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are key to maintaining a healthy and productive workforce. The NSW Government Mental Health at Work website has some relevant COVID resources for employers.

Commonwealth Government Vaccine Claims Scheme

The Commonwealth Government is developing a COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme to reimburse people who suffer a moderate to significant impact following an adverse reaction to an approved COVID-19 vaccine. Visit the COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme's home page to learn more and register for the scheme.

Vaccination information for workers

Some workers are required to have a COVID-19 vaccination before they can continue to work. Find out more

 

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