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News update
2/12/2021
News update

Joint Standing Committee releases report on NDIS Commission

After an inquiry that ran for almost 18 months, the report on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has been released, making 30 recommendations.
News update
1/12/2021
News update

New Support Coordination paper released

The long-awaited outcomes of a review of support coordination have been outlined in a new NDIA paper, Improving Support Coordination for NDIS participants.

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

person in masks scans a QR code. Text reads COVID-19 news update

15/10/2021

What you need to know

  • New community services mandatory vaccination policy
  • Useful FAQs about mandatory vaccination
  • Updated community services factsheets applicable to residential and non-residential disability settings

The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) has developed a Community Services vaccination policy, applicable to disability service providers.

A document responding to frequently asked questions [doc] is also available.

In addition, the community services factsheets for residential and non-residential and community settings have also been updated.

Community Services mandatory vaccination policy

This Policy outlines the vaccination requirements for the Community Services Sector in the context of the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions. 
This requires employers to collect, record, and hold vaccination information for employees specified in the directions and to ensure unvaccinated workers do not work outside their ordinary place of residence.

All employees covered by the CHO Directions are required to provide evidence of their vaccination status by 15 October 2021 (or evidence of booking to receive a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine prior to 22 October). Employees must be fully vaccinated by 26 November 2021 in order to continue, or commence, working outside their ordinary place of residence. The only exceptions to the mandate apply to individuals who meet a medical exemption and can provide supportive evidence or where specific extenuating circumstances apply. 

The Policy includes details regarding: 

  • How to issue a lawful and reasonable direction to workers
  • process and options for managing unvaccinated workers 
  • employee refusals to return to work setting outside of their residence
  • refusal to work with unvaccinated individuals
  • continuing COVID-19 safe practices 
  • other issues, including record keeping requirements, privacy, confidentiality, rostering, anti-discrimination, human rights, and consultation.

Mandatory vaccinations for workers outside the home FAQs

The FAQ document is suitable for circulation by disability providers, and addresses questions relating to the following: 

  • Eligibility
  • Getting vaccinated
  • Proof of vaccination status
  • Employer responsibilities. 

Updated community services factsheets for residential and non-residential disability settings 

The updated factsheets for residential and non-residential and community settings are now available on the Victorian Government website. They highlight important changes in restrictions for Victorian regions under lockdown and areas not required to operate under lockdown in the last two weeks. 

These include the addition of the worker requirements for mandated vaccination aligning with the new policy and public health orders. 

Accessing a COVID vaccination

Multiple options are now available for workers, people with disabilities and their families to access a COVID vaccination, see:

Disability Liaison Officers can assist people with disabilities with barriers to vaccination with access, in-home vaccination, support with sedation or identification of specific disability pop-up clinics, see: 

Addressing vaccination hesitancy 

Where providers are aware of hesitancy among workers, participants or their families, the Victorian Government has a number of Vaccine Ambassadors who can answer questions and discuss this in a supportive nonjudgmental manner.

To access this valuable program and set up conversations email: Vaccine Ambassadors at ambassadorprogram@health.vic.gov.au

NDS has also released a new video where three of the Vaccine Champions, two people with lived experience and a disability worker, discuss their reasons for choosing to be vaccinated. 

COVID-19 Safer and Stronger: Disability Vaccine Champions

NDS Living with COVID-19 Series

NDS is hosting interactive fortnightly meetings for disability services on Living with COVID-19. The next session on 22 October will include a presentation on the implications of the vaccine mandate for disability services from Russell Kennedy Lawyers in addition to updates from DFFH and NDIA.

Useful links: 

Contact information
Contact information For any enquiries, please contact Sarah Fordyce, State Manager Victoria, submit enquiry/feedback, 0447 441 505