LEGAL UPDATE – Mandate restrictions easing in Queensland

IN BRIEF

The Public Well being (Additional Extension of Declared Public Well being Emergency—COVID-19) Regulation (No. 2) 2022 was applied solely final week. Nevertheless, the Premier has rotated on that announcement and has introduced a few of Queensland’s final remaining COVID-19 restrictions will likely be lifted from 1am, 30 June 2022.

Abstract

Starting this Thursday, Queenslanders will not require COVID vaccinations to go to aged care services, incapacity lodging and correctional services.

The Premier has additionally introduced that the high-risk employee vaccine mandate would even be revoked in faculties, early childhood schooling, exterior college care, kindergartens, household day care, police watch homes, youth detention facilities and airports.

Regardless of these easing restrictions, necessary vaccines are nonetheless required for staff in healthcare, hospitals, aged care and incapacity care.

What does this imply for you?

The Premier acknowledged that the choice round necessary vaccinations in companies falling throughout the scope of these not topic to the necessary vaccines, will likely be made by the employer. Which means that it’s their alternative as to whether or not they have a course in place for workers.

This stance appears to comply with the latest Honest Work Fee determination of Ms Emma Jamieson v Monash Well being [2022] FWC 1331 (Jamieson), the place Commissioner Johns emphasised that necessary vaccinations in a office are a matter of alternative for workers, quite than a mandate imposed by employers.

It was held in Jamieson that Monash Well being had applied a course that was not a mandate and “[Her] determination to not get vaccinated meant that Monash Well being, sure by the phrases of the Instructions, was required to make sure that [she] didn’t attend the office.” She was then subsequently dismissed for being unable to satisfy the inherent necessities of her job.

The place employers made selections to terminate employment of workers based mostly on non-compliance with the orders, these selections stay legitimate. Some former workers might search to be returned to the office now that the general public well being orders have ceased to function in some industries. It’s for employers to resolve the way to have interaction/re-engage these workers.

For these workers who’ve been stood down as a result of their vaccination standing was not consistent with the general public well being orders, now could be the time to re-engage with them to debate their return to the office.

The place the well being orders will not function in some industries, employers ought to think about whether or not affordable instructions may be made round vaccinations as a part of your WHS / threat administration system.

That is commentary revealed by Colin Biggers & Paisley for basic info functions solely. This shouldn’t be relied on as particular recommendation. You need to search your personal authorized and different recommendation for any query, or for any particular scenario or proposal, earlier than making any ultimate determination. The content material is also topic to alter. An individual listed might not be admitted as a lawyer in all States and Territories. © Colin Biggers & Paisley, Australia 2021.