On 12 January 2022, changes were made to the current ‘mandatory vaccination’ orders in Victoria. If you are an employer or a worker in aged-care or healthcare, covered by the ‘Specified Facilities’ Order, the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ now includes a booster shot (3rd dose of a recognised COVID-19 vaccine). Similarly, some industries (but not all) that are covered by the ‘Specified Workers’ Order will also need to have their booster shot to attend the workplace. These industries are: quarantine accommodation, meat & seafood processing, food distribution, emergency services, disability workers and custodial workers.
Each Order specifies a ‘booster deadline’ for each of the affected workers. These deadlines vary for aged-care and healthcare workers. However, the deadlines noted in the ‘Specified Workers’ Order are the same for all affected industries. For example, if you are an affected worker covered by the ‘Specified Workers’ order and you received your 2nd dose on or before 12 September 2021, you have until 12 February 2022 to receive your booster shot. If you did not receive your 2nd dose until after 12 September 2021, you have until 12 March 2022 to receive your booster shot. Those who are not deemed ‘fully vaccinated’, or do not have a valid exemption by the ‘booster deadline’ will not be able to attend the workplace.
Employers and workers in aged-care and healthcare should check their respective deadlines to ensure compliance.
As with previous Orders, employers must collect, record and hold vaccination information of their employees pertaining to their booster shot (i.e. whether the employee is fully vaccinated (with a booster) and if so, the date they became fully vaccinated).
These Orders are set to expire on 12 April 2022. We will keep you updated regarding any changes or extensions to these Orders, as well as any new Orders made for other industries and workers.
If you need assistance with navigating the various Victorian Pandemic Orders, please do not hesitate to reach out to Francine Hoyne-Clancy of our employment team.