VPS Vaccination Policy for Employees

Updated 1 month ago

All VPS Departments and Agencies will have issued updated advice now on their vaccination requirement for employees, contractors, and visitors to their workplaces.  Public Health Orders have been extended.  The extension includes the CHO mandate for 2 vaccines. The 3rd dose is recommended but not CHO mandated but issued by Departments as a mandatory policy setting.

CPSU wishes to advise members that representations were made to VPS Employers on CPSUs’ position which noted that over 70% of our public sector workforce have already received a 3rd dose and therefore creating unnecessary division now at the workplace was counterproductive as we all transition to living with Covid.

CPSU is proud to support and encourage Victorians to partake in a full vaccination program, including boosters.

CPSU did support Victorian Public Servants being vaccinated when this was a Direction from the Chief Health Officer.

CPSU does not support Employer mandated vaccination policy and inconsistencies with the employer mandated application across the public sector workforce is indefensible..

Employers however do have a power under contracts of employment to issue lawful and reasonable directions.

At present, an employer COVID-19 vaccination direction issued in the absence of a public health order, is still likely to be lawful and reasonable in respect of employees who attend workplaces where they are in physical proximity with others, provided that such direction:

a. is devised based on a proper risk assessment;
b. in the subject of consultation in conformity with OHS laws; and
c. contains exceptions for those with a medical contraindication to vaccination.

As it presently stands, an employer vaccine requirement after a proper risk assessment and with proper consultation in accordance with OHS laws, is very likely to remain a reasonable direction in most workplaces where employees work in physical proximity to each other.

This will be particularly so, if the direction provides for exemptions in respect of bona fide medical contraindication to vaccination.

The likely reasonableness of the direction will be centrally based on the effectiveness of vaccination in preventing serious injury or death to an employee which may arise from workplace transmission of COVID.

Members who feel frustrated or unhappy with the VPS Vaccination policy should continue to make this representation to their relevant line manager.

Any member who is concerned about their situation in relation to their employers vaccination policy should first speak with their line manager and People and Culture to ascertain how their employer views their situation.

CPSU will provide advice about legal developments in relation to whether such requests are reasonable.  The advice may differ from case to case dependent on individual circumstances.

Should members receive advice from their medical practitioner indicating that they should not/cannot get vaccinated/boosted, they should pass this written advice on to their employer.

CPSU Victorian Branch Secretary / Federal Secretary

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