The Victorian Government announced on 18 June 2022 that it proposed to lift its imposed third dose mandates in education. This has now been done.
All vaccination mandates for education workers in Victoria were lifted from 11.59pm on Friday, 24 June 2022 under Pandemic (Workplace) Order 2022 (No 9).
The Pandemic Order now no longer requires ‘education workers’ to be vaccinated as a condition of them being able to attend for work. Likewise, operators of an ‘education facility’ – such as schools, childcare and school boarding premises – will no longer be required to collect, record and hold vaccination information about its workers for them to be permitted to work onsite. This means that the current Pandemic Order no longer obliges schools to know whether their workers are fully vaccinated or fully vaccinated (boosted) for them to be able to attend for work.
However, vaccination mandates continue to apply to ‘specialist education workers’ at ‘specialist school facilities’. A ‘specialist school facility’ is a facility established for the main purpose of providing instruction for students with a disability.
In its announcement, the Government also noted that, in line with other jurisdictions around Australia, vaccination policies in schools would now be the responsibility of individual workplaces. Schools should seek advice if they wish to implement, or continue to enforce, their own mandatory vaccination policy.
Schools should also seek advice if there are disputes or concerns as to when previously unvaccinated employees, being on special leave or other approved leave of absence, are entitled to return to work and be paid.
Schools will continue to have an obligation to notify their school community of any positive COVID-19 cases.
A school who has been informed that a diagnosed person or a probable case attended its premises during the person’s infectious period must take reasonable steps to notify the parents, guardians and carers of the students enrolled at the school during the relevant infectious period:
Schools must continue to collect, record and store the following information:
Schools must also continue to have in place a COVIDSafe Plan which addresses the health and safety issues arising from COVID-19, including:
This is a summary only of the relevant Pandemic Order. Schools are encouraged to refer to the full terms of the Pandemic Order and to seek advice on specific situations if required.
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Steven Troeth, Partner
Diana Diaz, Special Counsel