Navigating the removal of vaccine mandates – for employers


As of 11:59pm tonight (4 April 2022), Government-enacted vaccination mandates and Vaccine Pass requirements will lift for the education, police, defence and hospitality sectors.  Considering this change, WorkSafe has sent a clear message that employers can only justify a requirement for a role to be performed by a vaccinated employee under very limited circumstances.  We highlight key aspects of WorkSafe’s most recent guidelines below.


What is the latest guidance from WorkSafe?

In response to the changing COVID-19 landscape, WorkSafe has released guidance to help employers ensure that vaccination requirements are role-specific and fit for purpose.

The key enquiry will be whether there is a greater risk of an employee being exposed to new COVID-19 variants at work than they would be in the community.  For non-mandated industries, an employer will only be justified in requiring a particular role to be undertaken by a vaccinated person if the risk is higher in the workplace.  For many roles, this is unlikely to be the case.

Other factors to consider include whether the employee’s role requires them to:

What do changes to vaccination mandates mean for employers?

The changes to vaccination mandates and updated Government guidance will impact employers differently depending on the nature of their work.  Get in touch with the team at Black Door Law if your organisation needs to:

As employers begin to prepare for the next stage of our nation’s response to COVID-19, we remind employers to keep up to date with the latest public health advice.  What remains unchanged is the obligations on employers as PCBUs to continue to monitor the risk of COVID-19 transmission in their workplace, consult with employees and their representatives, and reassess the controls that are in place to manage that risk.

Some mandates remain…

While many will be welcoming the change in restrictions, existing mandates will still affect many (primarily) private employers and their employees who conduct work together or for organisations in mandated industries.  Vaccinations remain mandated for:

Many business owners who service mandated sectors will be balancing commercial factors with their own health and safety and employment obligations.  While this not a new predicament, the most recent guidance from WorkSafe is likely to accentuate rather than alleviate the tension between third party requirements and the employer’s own obligations, in some industries.  Some employers may be able to look at re-employing staff who were previously unable to perform work due to the requirements of the mandates.

If you are after tailored advice around how the WorkSafe guidance applies to your role or organisation, get in touch with the team at Black Door Law.

Disclaimer:  This information is intended as general legal information and does not constitute legal advice.  If you have a specific issue and wish to discuss it get in contact with the Black Door Law team.