Whilst we don’t recommend mandating vaccines for your employees unless there is a very good reason to do so, there are many good reasons to have a vaccination policy in place. Vaccination policies are not just about COVID-19 vaccinations which are of course a hot topic but for all vaccine-preventable diseases that could be transmitted in the workplace or whilst undertaking work.

The health and safety of your workers and customers is the primary reason to consider encouraging vaccinations, but there are others. You have an obligation under the WHS laws to manage risk and your employees may need to travel or conduct work in high risk settings where there is a greater risk of exposure to viruses and diseases e.g., hospitals, physical containment facilities, or where there is a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in the community at a particular time.

By implementing a vaccination policy, you can request applicants to declare their vaccination status before commencing work with the company. Unless vaccination is a mandatory requirement in your line of work you can’t force employees to provide their vaccination status, but without confirmation of vaccination, they must be deemed unvaccinated by the company. This in turn could have the knock-on effect of restricting the opportunity to work in certain environments where vaccination has been mandated by either your client or the Government.

Due to the personal nature of vaccination, the vaccination policy and guidelines need to be carefully crafted and implemented. When done correctly they will help you to navigate the complexities of vaccine-preventable diseases, as well as adhere to your duties under the Work Health and Safety Act, which is to eliminate or minimise risks, so far as is reasonably practicable. Where vaccination status is retained by your company you must take care of this information and ensure it is stored in accordance with the Privacy Act.

Do you need advice on implementing a vaccination policy for your business? Or help navigating COVID-19 regulations, implementing a CovidSafe plan, to cope with recent changes in your workplace, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Masula Compliance for expert advice and support.

Get in touch with the team from Masula Compliance on 07 3348 3666 or email info@masulacompliance.com.au