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Every person on Victoria’s authorised worker list must have their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by October 15 to continue working on site.
Announcing the news on Friday, Premier Daniel Andrews said those workers must be fully vaccinated by November 26.
He estimated the new requirement would apply to up to 1.25 million Victorians.
While NSW enforced a mandate on authorised workers in local government areas of concern, this is the broadest mandate applied so far in Australia.
Here are your questions answered.
How will the mandate be enforced?
The burden will fall on individuals and businesses. Each employee must carry an authorised worker permit. After Friday’s changes, these permits will require workers to confirm they have been vaccinated. Businesses will also be required to ensure all their workers on site carry a valid permit. Fines will be issued if an authorised officer visits a workplace and finds employees without a permit.
What industries and workers fall under the “authorised” list?
As a rule, if you are permitted to go in to your workplace during lockdown, you are likely on the list. But it goes beyond that. Personal trainers, marriage celebrants, zoo workers and pool cleaners are examples of authorised workers from a very long list that you can view in full here.
Are authorised workers and permitted industries different? Or is everyone who works in a permitted industry – such as a barista preparing takeaway coffee at a cafe, or a health food store clerk – an authorised worker?
The second part of this question is correct: all people who work in a permitted industry are considered authorised workers, including the examples cited. The full list is available here.
What happens if I can’t get a vaccination appointment near my house before October 15?
Anyone with a booking between October 15 and October 22 will still be allowed to go to work. After October 22, only those who’ve had at least one dose will be permitted to work. But there are plenty of appointments available. The Victorian government said there would be 19,000 Pfizer and Moderna doses available at state clinics in the next week, most GPs have appointments within two days and a week-long Moderna blitz of 10,000 doses will start at 11 hubs from Monday.
How will I prove I’m vaccinated?
Authorised worker permits will ratify vaccination status. Additionally, personal vaccination records can be downloaded via MyGov accounts and the Medicare app. Digital vaccination passports will be available via the federal government in October.
Warehouse worker Daniel Matcham gets his vaccine in Hoppers Crossing last month.Credit:Jason South
Will my boss ask me to show my vaccination status?
Not necessarily. To be allowed to work, employers will expect each staff member to have an authorised worker permit and can ask them to show it. Workers will have to confirm they have been vaccinated to receive their permit in the first place.
What happens if my industry was already mandated?
The state government has already enforced a vaccine mandate on those who work in construction, freight, healthcare, aged care and education. Those industries must comply with their previous advice. Construction workers, for example, must be vaccinated to work on-site from this Tuesday.
I own a small business (cafe, pizza shop, etc). Do I need to have a trained COVID marshal?
No. COVID marshals are only required at specified sites. They include gyms, places of worship, food courts, real estate inspections and, as announced on Friday, construction sites. More on where marshals are required is available here: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/covid-check-in-marshals#which-venues-must-use-a-covid-check-in-marshal
Are any exemptions available?
Workers might be exempt if they are unable to be vaccinated because of a medical contraindication as determined by ATAGI clinical guidance. They will need evidence from a medical practitioner, such as a medical certificate or a letter.
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