Australian companies allowed to collect workers’ vaccination status
Employers in Australia have been granted the right to ask workers of their vaccination status to better guard against COVID-19 infection in the workplace, according to guidelines by federal authorities.
The latest guidance issued to businesses means employers should be able to take the necessary precautions should their workers be unvaccinated, and therefore pose a risk to colleagues and customers.
In such an event, workers can then be moved away from front-facing duties, reducing the possibility of spread of COVID-19. However, this does not mean vaccinations can be mandated, says Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“The vaccination program in Australia is free and it is not mandatory. That is a very important principle,” he said on Monday, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
“We are not going to seek to impose a mandatory vaccination program by the government by stealth. That is not what we’re going to do. There are already existing powers that employers have, both in terms of lawful directions, reasonable directions to their employees.”
Published guidelines from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner states that businesses can collect information about an employee’s vaccination state, but only under limited situations.