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Mandatory vaccination in high-risk settings
In line with recommendations from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and National Cabinet to protect Tasmanians at risk of severe illness, the Tasmanian Government introduced mandatory vaccination for workers in a number of high-risk settings.
Effective from 1 July 2022, there are no longer requirements under the Public Health Act 1997 for any worker to be vaccinated.
A workplace may require employees to be vaccinated to attend work, if it has identified that this is a reasonable measure to implement based on the workplace’s COVID-19 risk assessment.
For further information see below and refer to the WorkSafe Tasmania website.
Choosing to require vaccination for employees
As for all work health and safety requirements, workplaces must ensure that any vaccination requirements they choose to implement are based on a risk assessment, and lawful and reasonable in the circumstances. For example, workplaces need to ensure they consult with their employees before implementing a measure such as a vaccination requirement.
An employer or organisation should get legal advice if considering requiring employees to be vaccinated. In addition to health and safety considerations, there are many workplace relations, discrimination and privacy issues to consider.
An employer or organisation can only require that employees provide evidence of their vaccination status in particular circumstances. If the employer or organisation intends to collect vaccination status into a record of employees and members, they must be satisfied that this collection is permitted under Australian Privacy Principle (APP) 3.
This advice also applies to sport and recreation organisations considering requiring players and visitors/supporters to be vaccinated as a condition of participating in sport.
The following fact sheet provides best practice guidance on COVID-19 vaccination in workplaces.
Choosing to require vaccination for customers
If businesses or organisations want customers and visitors to be vaccinated as a condition of entry to their premises or a condition of receiving services, they should seek advice before taking any action, as privacy and discrimination conditions may apply.
The workplace rights of employees and volunteers under the Fair Work Act: COVID-19 vaccinations: workplace rights & obligations - Fair Work Ombudsman
Your Work, Health and Safety (WHS) responsibilities: Vaccination | Safe Work Australia
Whether requiring vaccination may be considered unlawful discrimination in your circumstance: COVID-19 vaccinations and federal discrimination law | Australian Human Rights Commission
Privacy and information security: COVID-19: Vaccinations and my privacy rights as an employee (oaic.gov.au)
Proof of vaccination status
If you require proof of vaccination, Services Australia provides information on how individuals can access this. Any of these methods should be accepted as evidence.
If a business or organisation chooses to require vaccination, and there is a requirement for people to provide evidence that they are medically unable to be vaccinated, people can ask their doctor to update their record on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) to say that they have a medical contraindication. They can then use their statement or certificate as proof that they are unable to be vaccinated, if required. More information is available from Services Australia.
Read more about providing proof of vaccination.