Consistent with the “roadmap” to reopening Victoria, the Andrews government announced on Friday 1 October 2021 requirements that to continue working on-site, all workers on the ‘Authorised Worker’ list (and who are not working from home) must, subject to a medical exemption

  • have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Friday, 15 October 2021; and
  • be fully vaccinated by 26 November 2021.

The 15 October deadline will not apply to workers who are required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination under a Chief Health Officer direction.  This means that workers and operators in the construction, freight, healthcare, aged care and education sectors are required to comply with the current Chief Health Officer direction, being the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Directions (No 5)

While the Chief Health Officer has not, to date, issued a direction in respect of the recent announcement, the ‘Authorised Provider and Authorised Worker list’ has been published on the Victorian government’s coronavirus website and is accessible here.  The list is extensive and is being updated regularly, so we recommend that you regularly review the list to be aware of further developments.

Notably, the list includes:

  • labour hire workers when servicing an Authorised Provider;
  • workers in “all manufacturing”;
  • workers in administrative services provided by an employer to enable its employees to work from home e.g. payroll and IT services;
  • workers in commercial operations that supply goods or services necessary (e.g. manufacturing of PPE or hand sanitiser):
    • for the implementation of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19; or
    • to support any business activity that may be carried out in accordance with these directions; or
    • to support the export of goods and services from Victoria.

Ancillary and support businesses are able to open on-site where necessary for the operations of an Authorised Provider, or for Closed Work Premises where there are safety or environmental obligations e.g. production, supply, manufacture, repair, maintenance, cleaning, security, wholesale, distribution, transportation or sale of equipment, goods or services essential to the operation of the Authorised Provider. The business cannot operate on-site for any other purpose.

What this means for you

You should immediately confirm whether your business is an “Authorised Provider” that employs “Authorised Workers” for the purposes of “Authorised Work”. Subject to further developments or clarifications, an Authorised Provider will have to ensure that if it employs Authorised Workers, they are vaccinated before they attend work onsite.

Based on the current health orders and its earlier iterations, this means that you will likely be required to collect and hold information about the vaccination status of your employees, if they are considered Authorised Workers.

As the first dose deadline (and subject to any exceptions e.g. a booking to receive a first dose) is 10 days away, we recommend that employers with employees that fall within the Authorised Worker list formulate and public their COVID-19/vaccination workplace policy, and begin collecting vaccination status information from employees as a matter of urgency. 

If you require any assistance in interpreting the announcement around Authorised Workers, formulating your company’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, collecting relevant employee information (including in relation to vaccination contraindications) and managing any remaining unvaccinated workers, please contact the Moray & Agnew Workplace team.