On 4 November 2021, the Events Industry Association was invited by Minister Templeman and Minister Whitby to join 40 other key stakeholders at the Hospitality & Tourism Roundtable to discuss mandatory vaccinations.
The purpose of the roundtable – which was presented by the Department of Health, alongside the Small Business Development Commissioner – was to explain the mandatory vaccination scheme and hear from the industry about its implementation.
As a summary, it appears that clarity is still some way off, with the formal directions still being drafted. We can expect the Group 1 directions within a few weeks, with the Group 2 being drafted in December.
For events, the industry for the most part is not identified in either category. However, with the focus on-premises, and not occupations, event businesses who work with those industries identified on a regular basis, are likely to have to comply.
For those that do need to comply though, the legislation will permit employers to demand and compel employees to provide their vaccination status however it isn’t clear if this applies to Groups 1 and 2. With many event businesses on the periphery we have advocated for employers to receive a general power to request vaccination records. It is hoped this will avoid disputes in the workplace. Records will need to be kept of vaccination in accordance with privacy principles.
We also note that the Federal Government protects Employers who require employees to get jab through a “no fault” scheme if the employee gets sick as a result of the vaccination.
As this is still ongoing, we will endeavour to keep members updated with the latest, but for now there will remain some ambiguity until the directions are written.