WA the latest state to mandate vaccination for ECEC employees, with Jan 2022 deadline
Western Australia is the latest state to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for certain employee groups, including early childhood education and care (ECEC).
“Mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for more than half of WA’s workforce sets out a safe and clear framework for industries and workers, based on our expert health advice,” Premier Mark McGowan said.
The phased approach to mandated vaccination is designed to prepare the state for expected community transmission as Australia opens up, and will cover the majority of occupations and workforces within Western Australia.
Mandates are already in place for workers in industries considered the highest risk, including those interacting with people at an increased risk of being infected or vulnerable to COVID-19, or necessary to avoid catastrophic risk to the safety of the community.
The newly announced policy strengthens current mandates and covers the next groups of industries to be mandated, as well as a requirement for other critical workers to be vaccinated to be permitted to work in the event of a lockdown or similar restrictions.
“WA needs to be prepared for community transmission – by mandating our essential and critical workforces we can maintain services, and businesses can continue to operate safely in the long term,” the Premier said.
ECEC is in group two, occupations deemed critical to the ongoing delivery of business and function of the community, and must receive a first vaccination by 31 December 2021, and be fully vaccinated by 31 January 2022.
Other occupations in group two include employees from the retail sector, those working in schools, and those manning critical infrastructure and services necessary for health, safety and welfare of the community.
“Unvaccinated workers in settings in where exposure is likely can cause tremendous harm,” WA Health Minister Roger Cook said.
“They are a risk to themselves, their colleagues and the community. We simply cannot afford the hesitant or complacent infecting those workers who have already been vaccinated. What we have outlined is clear, sensible and urgent – don’t wait.”
In the event that WA locks down, workers must be fully vaccinated to attend work during a lockdown or similar restrictions to decrease transmission risk and prevent impact on the delivery of services.
For more information on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in WA please see here.
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