The COVID 19 Vaccination – can you force an employee to “take the jab” or can you incentivise the vaccinations?
By Greg Arnold, Director & Principal Consultant
16th July, 2021
Earlier this year, one of our consultants, Andrea Vickery wrote an article about COVID 19 Vaccination for employees, and whether or not employers could lawfully force an employee to have the COVID 19 vaccination.
Obviously there has been significant “water pass under the bridge” since that first article. In particular the slow roll out of the vaccinations; the general realisation that the only possible way out of the current COVID crisis is having a high percentage of the population vaccinated; and the risks that have been identified with some of the vaccines, have forced employers to consider how best they can try and have all of their employees vaccinated.
Just last week the CEOs of some of the major corporations in Australia met with the Treasurer and other Government officials to examine ways of having the COVID vaccinations delivered in the workplace. Whilst nothing concrete seems to have arisen from that meeting, there is a clear appetite for employers to try and have their employees vaccinated.
The Business Council of Australia is suggesting that employers offer “incentives” to employees to have the vaccinations. The suggestion is employers be prepared to give people vaccination leave, pay for their Ubers and taxis to travel to medical clinics, and ensure staff have access to trusted information. This type of incentive or support is often offered by employers to employees in respect to the flu vaccine on an annual basis, outside of the current pandemic.