- Does my employer have to give me time off to get vaccinated?
- Can I take sick leave to get vaccinated?
- Can I take sick leave if I feel unwell after being vaccinated?
- Does my employer have to consult me about introducing new vaccination policies?
- Can my employer make vaccinations in the workplace mandatory?
- Who is liable if I have an adverse reaction to a work-mandated vaccination?
- What is the AMWU's position on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations?
- How can I get vaccinated?
- Where can I find more information?
Does my employer have to give me time off to get vaccinated?
At many AMWU workplaces, union members have negotiated paid time off to receive a vaccination. You can check with your delegate, HSR or our union if this is available at your workplace. If this is not currently available at your workplace, it's time to ask.
Workers who are unable to negotiate paid time off for vaccinations will have to organise this in their own time. Most health directives generally do not require an employer to pay an employee or give them paid leave to go and get vaccinated.
If there is a workplace requirement/mandate to get vaccinated, your employer will need to assist you to access and recover from vaccination. This should include paid time to travel to attend a vaccination clinic/provider.
Can I take sick leave to get vaccinated?
No. Sick leave is only able to be used when you have an injury or illness that makes you unfit to work.
Can I take sick leave if I feel unwell after being vaccinated?
Yes, if you have a sick leave entitlement.
Casual workers do not have a sick leave entitlements unless their employer has specifically agreed to this.
You should speak to your delegate if you do feel unwell after being vaccinated. Our union has been able to negotiate some specific COVID-19 entitlements that may not require you to use your sick leave.
In a limited range of circumstances where the employer has mandated, facilitated or encouraged vaccinations, you may be entitled to workers compensation payments.
The federal government is also developing a scheme to reimburse people who are impacted by injury and loss of income due to an adverse reaction to an approved COVID-19 vaccine.
For more information on the scheme, click here.
Contact the AMWU if you need assistance in making a claim.
Does my employer have to consult me about introducing new vaccination policies?
Health and safety legislation requires employers to consult with workers who may be directly affected when making decisions about ways to eliminate or reduce risks to health and safety.
Employers must consult with workers and Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) at the workplace when considering health and safety matters and prior to any decision on vaccinations.
Workers and HSRs can get assistance from our union to do this.
Can my employer make vaccinations in the workplace mandatory?
An employer can only mandate workers be vaccinated when public health orders have been made that require those workers to be vaccinated.
Outside of this, it is unlikely that requiring workers to be vaccinated will be reasonably practicable.
Employers must consult with workers and HSRs at the workplace prior to any decision on mandatory vaccinations.
If you are told that vaccination is compulsory in your workplace,you should ask for any instruction from management to be put in writing and request any relevant supporting policy to back up the instruction. Following this, contact the AMWU for advice.
Who is liable if I have an adverse reaction to a work-mandated vaccination?
If you suffer loss of wages or a loss of health (i.e. beyond routine short-term side effects) following a vaccination, contact the AMWU for advice on what options might be available.
What is the AMWU's position on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations?
The AMWU does not support mandated vaccination policies in workplaces where it is not supported by public health orders. Decisions regarding the mandating of vaccinations should be left to health experts and be based on risk to health rather than profit.
If you are told that vaccination is compulsory in your workplace, contact the AMWU for advice.