Education and Care Industry - Compulsory COVID-19 Vaccination
Vaccination is required for workers in the education and childcare industry in NSW, Victoria, ACT and Northern Territory - and it will soon be required in Western Australia.
This means that education and care workers who are not fully vaccinated or who do not have a medical contraindication certificate must not enter or remain on the premises of schools, early education or family/day care facilities. Family day care residences must not open unless all adult residents of the premises are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
From 8 November 2021, education and care workers must have either received both COVID-19 vaccinations, or have a medical contraindication certificate.
The obligation to be vaccinated does not apply to education and care workers who are working in an emergency.
Who must be vaccinated?
Workers considered to be ‘education and care workers’ must be vaccinated – this includes:
- Anyone who carries out work, or works at a government or non-government school (including teachers, administration staff, and maintenance workers);
- Anyone who carries out work, or works at an early education and care facility (e.g. early childhood educators, administration staff and maintenance workers);
- Contractors, volunteers or students on student placement performing work at schools or early education and care facilities;
- Workers who provide a disability support service at a government or non-government school, or early education and care facility (if a working with children check is required);
- Authorised persons carrying out work in relation to the registration of children for home schooling; and
- Adjudicators and staff working as part of the Higher School Certificate examinations.
All temporary and permanent medical exemptions must be authorised by a medical practitioner, who can notify the Australian Immunisation Register of an individual who has a vaccine exemption due to medical contraindications or natural immunity, which will be displayed on an individual’s Immunisation History Statement.
Recording employee vaccination status
Employers of workers in the categories listed above must take all reasonable steps to ensure the vaccination requirements are complied with.
If asked to do so, education and care workers must produce evidence of their vaccination for inspection by employers, the occupier of a premise or the approved provider of education and care service.
Employers should regularly remind workers to follow relevant health protocols while attending work, including to:
- Ensure they have ‘checked-in’ using the QR code on site;
- Practice social distancing where possible;
- Carry and use correct PPE; and
- Follow your COVID-19 safe plan.