NSW News flash: Vaccination mandated for disability workers
What you need to know
- The Public Health Order (PHO) mandating vaccinations for aged care workers has been amended to include workers providing disability services
- Workers providing disability supports need to have their first dose of a vaccine by 25 October and have two doses by 29 November to provide services. Medical exemptions apply
- Employers will need to take reasonable steps to ensure that workers comply with the PHO
- NDS is seeking additional detail from NSW Health and will provide an update once this becomes available
NSW Health has amended the Public Health Order (PHO) mandating vaccinations for aged care workers to include workers providing disability supports.
The PHO directs that a worker or provider delivering disability services in person must not provide the services unless they:
- Have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 9.00am on 25 October
- Have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by 9.00am 29 November
- Have a medical contraindication certificate from a medical practitioner
The direction also requires that a person responsible for a worker, or person providing disability services, take all reasonable steps to ensure that workers comply with the PHO.
The definition of disability services is broad and includes services provided in person, to a person with disability, and is not based on funding source or particular cohort.
While the order includes services funded or provided under the NDIS or assisted school travel program it is not limited to these services.
We have had some questions related to services such as Disability Employment Services. NSW Health has confirmed that workers delivering these services in person would be covered by the direction.
The direction also covers all of NSW and is not limited to any areas of concern.
NDS understands that additional communications will be provided by NSW Health today and will update the sector as soon as more information is available.
Providers are encouraged to check the NSW Health website as information can change rapidly.
To explore the implications of the new order and other aspects of ‘opening up,’ members are also invited to join us for our COVID-19 Normal: What are the issues for NSW Providers Senior Leader meeting on 19 October 2021.
Members are welcome to contact us at any time with questions or concerns.
Obtaining a vaccination
- NSW Health COVID-19 Disability Service Providers webpage
- For Providers - COVID-19 | NDIS website
- Australian Government Department of Health - Disability provider Alerts
- Australian Government Department of Health - Providing disability support services during COVID-19
- Australian Government Department of Health - COVID-19 vaccine information for disability service providers
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and health care managers
- NDS COVID-19 hub for information and resources including PPE