Victoria’s Acting Chief Health Officer has given further directions in response to the worsening COVID-19 outbreaks in Victoria. These new Directions are viewable here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorias-restriction-levels-covid-19
Public health sector workers should have received a Guidance Note explaining Direction No. 4, which is absorbed into Direction No. 5. We highly recommend reading the entire Guidance Note thoroughly, as it will address the majority of questions you may have.
We are still awaiting the full details of the authorised worker directions, and we will update this page with information when we receive it. The following information for authorised (non-healthcare facility) workers is from the Premier's press release.
These new directions place an obligation on the operators of all authorised work settings.
Operators of authorised work settings must ensure all authorised workers (working on-site) have
To help authorised workers get vaccinated and protect themselves, there will be a walk-up blitz for the mRNA Moderna vaccine at ten state-run hubs from October 4 to October 10:
Members can find more details at http://coronavirus.vic.gov.au
These new directions place an obligation on the operators of the following healthcare settings (emphasis on those settings that may be relevant to HACSU members):
(i) hospitals, including outpatient settings and in reach services; (ii) ambulance and patient transport services, (iii) community health centres and services including mental health, child and maternity, and drug and alcohol counselling services; (iv) general practices; (v) COVID-19 related healthcare sites, including testing sites, vaccination centres and hotel quarantine premises; (vi) dental surgeries and practices; (vii) day procedure centres; (viii) health clinics, including medical specialist and allied health professional operated clinics; (ix) pharmacies; (x) diagnostic and medical imaging centres; (xi) mobile health services; (xii) blood donation services; (xiii) educational settings where healthcare students undertake placement, registration or internships; (xiv) health services within government agencies, including the Victorian Department of Justice and Community Services – Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and the Coroners Court of Victoria; and (xv) any retail and other business operating within a healthcare setting, including cafes, newsagents and florists
This list does not include residential disability care, which is covered by the general Authorised Worker requirements.
The new obligations on operators of healthcare facilities are to ensure all workers who are working on/after October 15 have their first COVID-19 vaccination by October 29 and their second COVID-19 vaccination by December 15.
Healthcare workers have overwhelmingly indicated their willingness to be vaccinated, and the vast majority of HACSU members have told us they’re already vaccinated. We continue to urge all Victorians to follow public health advice to protect themselves, their families, fellow workers and the Victorians they care for.
HACSU will support our members throughout this time, as we have throughout the pandemic.
We will be holding members’ town halls on October 6 for Mental Health/AOD and October 5 & 7 for Disability. Please check your email for the Zoom registration link or contact us.
To ensure members who need assistance can obtain it, make sure you direct any questions you have to the most appropriate channel.
If you’re unsure of how this impacts your workplace, ask your line manager or team leader in the first instance.
If you are facing an industrial workplace issue, contact HACSU Assist.
If you are an authorised worker (exempting healthcare, including disability), you will need to receive your first COVID-19 Vaccine by October 15 to work on-site.
If you work in healthcare (please see the complete list of settings and roles in the full Directions document), you will need to receive your first COVID-19 Vaccine by October 29. Between October 15 and October 29, if you haven’t had the vaccine but have a booking for before October 29, you can continue to work but must wear PPE — at least a surgical mask and face shield.
From clause 8(5): “A person is an excepted person if the person has obtained certification from a medical practitioner that the person is unable, due to a medical contraindication to receive a dose, or a further dose, of a COVID-19”. If you cannot receive a vaccination for medical reasons, you need to speak to your GP and receive the appropriate documentation.
You may be exempt if you are unable to be vaccinated because you have a medical contraindication as determined by ATAGI clinical guidance (click here for PDF).
You will need evidence from a medical practitioner about this - such as a medical certificate or a letter.
The employer must sight and record evidence from one of the following authorised medical practitioners:
We have also asked the Victorian Government about rapid antigen testing and other measures to protect workers who are unable to receive a vaccine. Workers who are medically unable to be vaccinated must still be protected from COVID-19.
If you have a Medicare card, you can access your vaccination certificate via MyGov or the Medicare Express App. Some smartphones will allow you to add this certificate to your digital wallet.
If you do not have a Medicare card, you can ask your vaccination provider to print a copy of your Immunisation History Statement (IHS) for you. Alternatively, you can call the Australian Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809 (for interpreting services, call 13 14 50) to have an IHS sent in the mail. It can take up to 14 days to arrive in the mail
The first place to go with any questions is your regular GP. If you don’t have a regular doctor, any trained GP will be able to talk through how vaccination works, what the benefits are, and help you make your own choice.
If you have questions about health and safety at work, include COVIDSafe workplaces and COVID-19 vaccines, Victorian Trades Hall Council’s OHS Team can answer questions at https://www.ohsrep.org.au/ask_renata