With Australia set to start rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine, employers might be wondering whether they can make it mandatory for employees to be vaccinated. The answer to this question is complicated, and employers need to carefully consider the circumstances of their workforce before mandating that their employees be vaccinated.
- Employers have various obligations to provide safe and healthy workplaces.
- Whether it is ‘reasonably practicable’ or ‘lawful and reasonable’ to direct any employee to be vaccinated will depend on the circumstances. Key health and safety considerations include the likelihood of infection in the workplace, the degree of harm that could result, and the suitability of mandatory vaccinations as a measure to control that risk.
- To mitigate the risks of legal claims, employers must carefully consider the circumstances of any employee who does not want to be vaccinated.
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