20/10/2021 - 11:16

Vaccine mandate for 75 per cent of WA workforce: McGowan

20/10/2021 - 11:16

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The state government has unveiled a three-tiered mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy for a suite of industries, accounting for 75 per cent of the state’s workforce.

Vaccine mandate for 75 per cent of WA workforce: McGowan
Mr McGowan said the updated health advice was aimed at maintaining workforce and community safety.

The state government has unveiled an overarching, three-tiered mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy for a suite of industries which account for about 75 per cent of the state’s workforce.

For several weeks, Premier Mark McGowan has alluded to further mandatory vaccinations for industries, after handing down mandates for those in healthcare, hotel quarantine, the state’s ports and the resources sector.

During a press conference this morning, Mr McGowan unveiled an updated framework developed based on public health risk, which features three categories of critical occupations organised by the risk of community transmission.

The first category, which includes several industries which already have vaccine mandates, includes those in cross border freight, health care facilities, primary and community health, resources, border controls, air transport, corrective services, fire and emergency services, and abattoir meat processing.

It also covers community services staff working in remote Aboriginal communities.

Employees in those sectors will be required to have had their first jab by December 1 and be fully-vaccinated by the end of the year.

The second tier comprises sectors deemed ‘critical’ to the ongoing operation of businesses, and includes supermarkets, grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants, pubs bars or cafes, hardware stores, childcare, schools, financial institutions, petrol stations, hotel and other accommodation, and those in the construction industry.

Employees working in the second tier sectors will be required to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by the end of the year and be fully-vaccinated by the end of January, 2022.

However, school staff will be required to be fully-vaccinated before the commencement of Term 1.

Those in the third tier include employees in bottle shops, newsagents, settlement agents, government services, mechanical and automotive industries, roadside assistance, primary industries, manufacturing, and media services.

The third category, which will also cover members of parliament and parliamentary staff, will be required to be vaccinated to attend work in the event of a lockdown.

Mr McGowan said the updated health advice was aimed at maintaining workforce and community safety, being prepared for the reopening of the state and staying safe and strong; and not falling at the last hurdle.

It is understood about 50 industry representatives and unions were briefed on the changes this morning, the vast majority of whom support the mandating of vaccination if necessary, according to Mr McGowan.

Under the framework, employers will be required to keep records of compliance, with fines of up to $100,000 for businesses who fail to maintain adequate records.

Employees could also face $20,000 fines for failing to comply.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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