The State Government has today announced a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will now be mandatory for most WA workers and has reinstituted a hard border with the rest of the country.
Under current Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) advice, people become eligible for a booster shot five months after the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccine. The new State mandate will require workers to get that third jab within one month of becoming eligible.
WA is now the first jurisdiction in the world to mandate third doses for workers.
This latest action will push the vaccination process into mid-2022.
Affected businesses will now have to continue to seek ongoing confirmation from their employees on their vaccination status beyond the previous Government deadlines under public health orders.
Access CCIWA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Guides and Templates.
The Government has not ruled out future changes to the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ to mean more than three vaccine doses.
Previously, Group 1 and Group 2 workers, as designated under public health orders, were required to be fully vaccinated (that is, to have had two doses of a vaccine) by December 31, 2021, and January 31, 2022.
CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey said it was important that businesses and individuals were given sufficient time to comply with the new directions, to ensure current worker shortages are not exacerbated.
“As WA approaches 5 February, it is important there is sufficient clarity and consistency around rules relating to testing, tracing and isolation,” Morey said.
“Many of CCIWA’s members have been seeking information in order to stay compliant with mandates, under threat of a $100,000 fine. Over 1000 SMEs registered for a recent CCIWA webinar on vaccine mandates.”
In another update, from Boxing Day, the Northern Territory and Tasmania will be considered ‘medium risk’ jurisdictions, meaning incoming travellers from across the country will need to seek and be granted an exemption from the travel ban and also quarantine for 14 days.
All other states are already considered to be either medium risk or extreme risk.
CCIWA has released two updated guides for businesses on WA’s mandatory vaccines.
These important guides will help you understand your obligations under the State Government’s orders, and what steps you should take to ensure you and your business are protected from penalties. One guide is for employees in Groups 1 and 2; the other is for employees in Group 3.
CCIWA members can access more information via our Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or via [email protected].