Western Australia Adopts Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

By Anna Casellas, Saul Harben, Amy Toohey, Cilla Robinson, Dan Trindade, Stuart Pill, Hedy Cray, Shae McCartney, Christy Miller, Hilary Searing and Jennifer Wyborn © Clayton Utz November 19, 2021
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a medical professional applying a Band-Aid to  a patient's upper forearm

​A mandatory vaccination policy for a majority of occupations and workforces in Western Australia will be introduced in a phased approach to prepare the community for expected community transmission of COVID-19.

The policy strengthens current mandates and covers the next groups of industries to be mandated, as well as a requirement for other critical workers to be vaccinated to be permitted to work in the event of a lockdown or similar restrictions.

Who Is Affected by the Mandatory Vaccination Policy?

The occupations and workforces covered by this policy have been separated into three categories, subject to different timeframes and circumstances, based on risk.

Group 1: Industries determined to have a high-transmission risk, or are a vulnerability risk or are necessary or critical to the safety of the community.

Vaccine mandates have already been announced for the following that fall within this category:

  • Hotel quarantine workers.
  • Ports (exposed workers only).
  • Residential aged care workers.
  • Mission-critical Western Australia police.
  • Hospitals and health care facilities.
  • Primary and community health.
  • Cross-border freight workers (high and extreme risk locations only).
  • Fly-in, fly-out, onsite and mission critical resources sector.

This category will now also include:

  • Border and air transport.
  • Staff working in or entering remote Aboriginal communities.
  • Residential and non-residential community care services.
  • Corrective services.
  • Remaining Western Australia police.
  • Fire and emergency services, excluding volunteers.
  • Abattoirs and meat processing.

Group 2: Industries and workforces deemed critical to ongoing delivery of business and the function of the community.

This includes:

  • Supermarkets, groceries and bakeries.
  • Restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes.
  • Post offices.
  • Hardware stores.
  • Child care and family day care.
  • Teachers and staff at schools and boarding schools.
  • Financial institutions.
  • Critical infrastructure and services necessary for health, safety and welfare of the community.
  • Gas station, truck stops and roadhouses.
  • Public and commercial transport.
  • Remaining port operations.
  • Remaining commercial transport, freight or logistics.
  • Accommodation services at hotels, motels and other accommodation facilities.
  • Funeral or mortuary services.
  • Building, maintenance or construction.

Group 3: Lockdown workers.

In the event of a lockdown or similar restrictions, the following occupations and businesses will be required to be fully vaccinated to attend work:

  • Click and collect retail.
  • Liquor stores.
  • Newsstands.
  • Pet stores.
  • Wholesalers.
  • Critical conveyancing and settlement agents.
  • Government or local government services where working from home is not possible.
  • Some administrative services.
  • Vehicle and mechanical repair service.
  • Journalistic and media services.
  • Members and staff of members of the Parliament of Western Australia.
  • Roadside assistance workers.
  • Critical forestry.
  • Critical primary industries.
  • Critical factories, manufacturing, fabrication and production.

What Has to Be Done and When?

Group 1

All workers who have been recently added to this category must have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 1 and be fully vaccinated by Dec. 31.

Nonetheless, the timeframes remain unchanged for the workers covered by the vaccine mandates that have already been announced.

Group 2

All workers who fall within this category must have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 31 and be fully vaccinated by Jan. 31, 2022.

That said, all school staff will be required to be fully vaccinated prior to the start of term 1 of 2022. While this will be Jan. 31, 2022, for public education, private schools may be prior to that date.

Group 3: Lockdown Workers

Currently, there is no set deadline for these workers to be fully vaccinated. In the event of there being a lockdown or similar restrictions, these workers must be fully vaccinated to attend work during the lockdown or similar restrictions period.

Anna Casellas, Saul Harben and Amy Toohey are attorneys with Clayton Utz in Perth, Australia. Cilla Robinson is an attorney with Clayton Utz in Sydney. Dan Trindade and Stuart Pill are attorneys with Clayton Utz in Melbourne, Australia. Hedy Cray, Shae McCartney, Christy Miller and Hilary Searing are attorneys with Clayton Utz in Brisbane, Australia. Jennifer Wyborn is an attorney with Clayton Utz in Canberra, Australia. © 2021 Clayton Utz. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission of Lexology.

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