FWC to Determine Mandatory Vaccinations in the Workplace

By Greg Arnold, Director & Principal Consultant

Wednesday 16th November, 2021

What We Do Web 1 - FWC to Determine Mandatory Vaccinations in the Workplace

In what is hoped to be a case which provides clear guidance to employers, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) will hear the CFMMEU’s challenge to BHP’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy later this month.
It is expected and hoped that the outcome of this matter will provide some clear guidance to employers who are considering implementing a mandatory vaccination policy in their workplace.

The significance of this matter is highlighted by the FWC inviting the Federal Government, the ACTU and peak employer bodies to intervene.

In a statement issued on 5 November, the FWC Full Bench said the CFMMEU mining & energy division’s bid to overturn BHP’s recently introduced policy will be heard by video on 24 November, with an extra day reserved if needed.

BHP’s decision comes in the wake of the introduction of similar policies at other major employers, including Qantas, Virgin airlines, Westpac, Woolworths and Coles.

Whilst some State Governments have already mandated mandatory vaccinations in some sectors, including health and hospitality, this case will hopefully provide some guidance for businesses outside of those sectors as to whether or not mandatory vaccinations for staff will be lawful, and indeed what processes need to be followed.

EWS will keep our clients informed of the outcome. In the meantime, should you have any queries in relation to this very vexed question, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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