Employers advised to keep a digital record of COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace

Published July 02, 2021 -
Vaccine Tracking

As the COVID-19 vaccine roll out continues across the country, employers will want to adopt an efficient recording system to show which employees have had the jab, and which have not.

While only roughly eight per cent of the Australian population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the decision by the Federal Government to allow under 40s to get the AstraZeneca version of the vaccine via their GP, will soon see that figure increase at a greater rate.

Employsure, Australia’s largest workplace relations advisor, has seen vaccination-related calls to its employer advice line rise by more than 800 per cent since the start of the year, and is urging employers confused over their vaccination rights and options to do as much as reasonably practicable to provide accurate information to employees to help maintain a safe work environment.

“Vaccinations are a critical component when it comes to ensuring a safe workplace, and keeping track of which employees have received the COVID-19 vaccine, particularly as we see a resurgence in cases in winter, is an option employers should consider for their workplace,” said Employsure health and safety manager Larry Drewsen.

“Employee management software is key for business owners when recording employee vaccination status. BrightHR’s Vacctrak feature lets employers monitor who is fully, partially, or not vaccinated against COVID-19 in the workplace.

“BrightHR also provides employers with professional letter templates and awareness courses to encourage staff to get the vaccine, and can generate regular vaccination status reports that allows employers to make changes to rosters accordingly if they feel it’s in the interest of employee safety.”

Legally, employees do not have to disclose their vaccination status to their boss, and as such, employers should assume a worker is unvaccinated if their employee doesn’t tell them. Regardless, employers can still encourage vaccinations, make suggestions, and display relevant government health advice and vaccination-related material in their workplace.

To reduce the risk of transmission, employers should hold meetings with employees who have not had the vaccine to find out why, and if relevant, discuss alternative roles for employees who don’t want the vaccine. Regarding termination, employers must remember a full and fair procedure still applies, or else they risk an unfair dismissal claim.

Following the recent announcement of mandatory vaccinations for all quarantine and aged care workers, employers in all industries should start to conduct open and clear conversations with their own employees on what it could mean for them in the future.

“Terms of employment can and do change, and it is always an employee’s fundamental right to be treated fairly and reasonably. Some employees may be unable to have the vaccine for medical reasons, and it would therefore be considered discriminatory if their boss were to terminate their employment,” continued Mr Drewsen.

“An effective recording system and robust policies are a must in the workplace that will help employers communicate to staff how the vaccine affects them. Employers who are unsure on how to comply with workplace vaccinations should seek professional advice, or risk opening themselves up to potential future legal action.”

Media Enquires:

Matthew Bridges
[email protected]

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