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Sarah's Soundbite: October

Across Victoria there is anticipation around reunions with family, friends and the activities we enjoy, with the COVID-19 vaccination rate rapidly closing in on 80 per cent and the state reopening.

Helpdesk Top 5: September

Read answers to top up your knowledge on COVID-19 vaccinations and other timely topics. Got a question on your mind? NDS members can ask the Helpdesk.

Vic COVID-19 Update: Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions

bottles of medicine on a shelf with text COVID-19 news update


What you need to know

  • Directions for COVID-19 mandatory vaccinations for workers have been released
  • The directions outline obligations of employers and key dates for vaccinations
  • Exceptions to directions include maintaining quality of care in an emergency, and unforeseen circumstance
The latest COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions from the Chief Health Officer provide guidance on the obligations of employers.

The directions apply from Friday, 8 October 2021 to all people working in disability, regardless of funding source, who do not work from their normal place of residence. This includes administrative staff, sole operators, and supported employees working in authorised worker roles. Workers is defined as both paid and unpaid workers.

Key dates

Disability workers will be able to work onsite from Friday, 15 October 2021 if they are:

  • Fully vaccinated
  • Have received one vaccination 
  • Can show evidence of a booking for their first vaccination by 22 October 2021

By 22 October, all workers must have received their first vaccination dose. All workers must be fully vaccinated by 26 November to continue working onsite.

Employer obligations

Employers must notify workers as soon as practicable of the obligations.

The onus is on employers to collect, record, and hold vaccination information, including information on partially vaccinated workers or demonstrated evidence of a vaccination booking.

Additional employer obligations include:

  • Ensuring unvaccinated workers do not work outside their ordinary place of residence
  • Treating workers as unvaccinated if they do not hold their vaccination information
  • Sole operators are considered employers under these directions.

Exceptional circumstances

There are a number of exceptions to the directions.

These include:

  • If a worker has been required to self-quarantine due to public health requirements and is not able to receive their first vaccination before 22 October but has a booking within seven days of quarantine ending
  • If a worker is required to perform duties to maintain quality of care or to continue essential operations due to an emergency situation or a critical unforeseen circumstance
  • If a worker provides certification from a medical practitioner that the person is unable to receive a dose, or a further dose, of a COVID-19 vaccine due to a medical contraindication or acute medical illness.

Quarantine for fully vaccinated disability workers

NDS welcomes the mandating of vaccinations for disability workers.

We are also very aware of the potential impact on workforce supply, due to current workforce shortages.

We have formally requested that the government reduce the quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated disability workers from 14 days to seven days. 

Contact information

For any enquiries, please contact Sarah Fordyce, State Manager Victoria, submit enquiry/feedback, show phone number