See below the latest update from QHA's Employment Relations team regarding:
- Employee Check-in Requirements
- What to do with employees that are unvaccinated after 17 December 2021
- QHA Advice: An Employee Does Not Comply with Vaccination Direction
EMPLOYEE CHECK-IN REQUIREMENTS
QHA members are reminded that the “Public Health and Social Measures linked to vaccination status Direction" (the ‘Vaccination Direction’) sets out contact information requirements that are applicable to staff as well as visitors.
This requirement is consistent with previous public health directions and means that staff are also required to check-in when entering the workplace to commence work.
The relevant provisions of the Vaccination Direction for staff are copied below:
- Staff who enter a business, activity or undertaking specified in Schedule 1 must at the time of entry provide their contact information to the operator of the business by:
- using the Check in Qld App; or
- providing their contact details to the operator of the business to be registered using the Business Profile mode of the Check In Qld app; or
- if another method of collection is being used under paragraph 22, using that method.
- Staff who are unable to provide contact information or proof of COVID-19 vaccination because of age, disability or language barriers in relation to the Check In Qld App or the other method of collection, another person may provide contact information or proof of COVID-19 vaccination on the person’s behalf.
- Staff are not required to provide contact information if:
- the staff member is younger than 16 years old; or
- the staff member enters in an emergency or is entering to provide emergency services; or
- the staff member enters to provide emergency works; or
- if it would present a risk to the staff member’s safety.
CHECK IN FOR VISITORS
Questions about visitors to the business, activity or undertaking should be directed to Damian Steele, Industry Engagement Manager on email@example.com
Accommodation specific questions should be directed to Maeve McKenzie, Membership Officer - Accommodation on firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT TO DO WITH EMPLOYEES THAT ARE UNVACCINATED AFTER 17 DECEMBER 2021
Please note that where an employee is not able to attend the workplace because of the “Public Health and Social Measures linked to vaccination status Direction" (the ‘Vaccination Direction’) and their non-compliance with it, this situation is not a stand down in accordance with section 524 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (‘FW Act’). This is because there is no stoppage of work at the workplace.
Therefore, an employee should not be told their employment is stood down.
An employee that is unable to work from 17 December 2021 because of the Vaccination Direction should be clearly advised that they cannot attend the workplace.
Template G is a letter that an employer can provide to an employee who is covered by the Vaccination Direction and who:
- Is not yet vaccinated;
- Is yet to provide evidence confirming their vaccination status, or have not provided evidence of a claimed medical contraindication;
- Refuses to say if they are vaccinated; or
- Have indicated that they will not be getting vaccinated,
and therefore cannot work from 17 December 2021.
Distribute the letter marked Template G to them no later than the end of 16 December 2021.
As indicated, an employee being unable to work because they have not complied with the Vaccination Direction is not a stand down.
Employees may seek to take a period of paid accrued leave (annual leave or long service leave) for the duration of their inability to attend for work. In the alternative, an employee can be provided the opportunity to take unpaid leave.
Ordinarily an application for paid annual leave cannot be unreasonably refused by an employer (in accordance with section 88(2) of the FW Act.
However it may be reasonable to decline the annual leave request if:
- The circumstances are such that an employee is seeking annual leave because of their failure to comply with the Vaccination Direction; and
- It is workplace policy or practice that annual leave is not to be taken over the Christmas-New Year period (as is common in the hospitality industry) because of operational requirements, i.e. it is traditionally busy and full staffing is required.
Where an employee is unable to work from 17 December 2021:
- Advise them that they will have to apply to take leave for the period they are unable to attend the workplace, and to complete and return an application for leave, Template H is provided as a resource for members; or
- Advise them that if they have to apply to take unpaid leave for the period they are unable to attend the workplace and to complete and return an application for leave, Template H is provided as a resource for members.
Ask the employee to complete an approved leave form or Template H and submit that (prior to formally approving the leave).
QHA ADVICE: AN EMPLOYEE DOES NOT COMPLY WITH VACCINATION DIRECTION
The QHA’s Employment Relations team has prepared advice for the benefit of QHA members who have employees at their workplace who:
- Enter, work in or provide services at a business, activity or undertaking where vaccination is a requirement of entry or affects occupant density requirements; and
- Have been issued template D titled “DIRECTION TO GET VACCINATED - Public Health and Social Measures linked to vaccination status Direction”, or an alternative written direction; and
- Have not provided proof of COVID-19 vaccination or of a medical contraindication to their employer, by the required Vaccination Direction deadline.
The advice details what an employer can do i.e. paid or unpaid leave, or disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
A copy of the QHA’s advice can be downloaded HERE.
A number of templates are referred to in the disciplinary process section of the advice, those templates can be accessed below: