The newly issued mandatory vaccination public health direction will go live in one month.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t already implications for workers. As we’ve seen throughout the whole pandemic, the Federal Government has again shifted the blame to workers to clean up its own mess.
So, what does the direction mean for you?
Under the direction, all residential aged care workers need to have commenced the vaccination process by 17 September. You don’t need to be fully vaccinated by then, but you do have to have had at least one dose or have made a booking to receive one ASAP.
There are some strict grounds for medical exemption, so if you believe you should be medically exempt then talk to your GP right away. Under the direction there is no need to speak to a specialist.
The direction says you will need to tell your employer your vaccination status. This means providing a copy of your immunisation evidence that can be accessed through Medicare or a medical certificate for a valid exemption. If you are booked in but haven’t been vaccinated, it says you will need to provide a copy of that instead.
We are angry that 18 months into the pandemic, workers are still being left to pick up the pieces from the government’s failure. We remain concerned that this will have long term impacts on a sector already struggling with staff shortages. The government needs to support aged care workers and not keep shifting the goal posts and handballing responsibility.