COVID-19 Public Sector Updates
Western Australians look to the public sector to provide certainty and leadership. We are continuing to work with the government and public sector leaders on your behalf to maximise your health and safety as you go about the important business of making WA work.
We also encourage all members to regularly check the wa.gov.au COVID-19 Coronavirus Information page for official notices.
Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy
Based on the latest health advice, the State Government has today outlined an overarching mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy with a phased approach to a majority of occupations and workforces within Western Australia.
For more, view the latest government resources:
- Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Media Statement
- Vaccination Mandate Summary
- Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination information
Current government circular:
- Circular 5/2021 – Short-term workforce arrangements for week of 26 April 2021
- Circular 4/2021 – Short-term workforce arrangements for ANZAC Day long weekend
- Circular 2/2021
What leave do I use to take time off to go and get my vaccination? What if I have a reaction to the dose?
If you are a public sector employee directly employed on a permanent or fixed-term basis, employers are allowing reasonable work time for you to get the vaccine. If you are a casual employee, your employer may allow you to get the vaccine during a rostered shift where it is operationally convenient. The CPSU/CSA are advocating for the provisions for casuals to be strengthened.
Once you have been advised that you are eligible for a vaccine, you need to speak with your line manager before making a booking. This will help your agency and your team ensure work and services continue. View WA Government FAQs for public sector employees.
Following the CPSU/CSA's advocacy in recent months, we are also pleased to announce that Government Sector Labour Relations (GSLR) have updated Circular 6/2020 - Leave Arrangements for COVID-19 to extend COVID-19 leave to people experiencing adverse reactions following a COVID-19 vaccination who don’t have personal or sick leave available. This is available to all public sector employees including casuals. View Circular 6/2020.
I am a health care worker or health support worker who is subject to the Health Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions. However, I have vaccine hesitancy. What should I do?
The Pfizer vaccine which will be available to all health care workers and health support workers subject to the Health Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions. This means that if you are aged 60 and over, and had been hesitant to get AstraZeneca vaccine, you will now be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, as will every health care worker and health support worker in WA, regardless of age.
If you have already received your first dose of AstraZeneca, you will be required to get your second dose of the vaccine to comply with the Directions. Both vaccines have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they are safe before being made available to people in Western Australia. The Australian Government is responsible for selecting and purchasing vaccines. Vaccines will only be available to Australians once proven safe and effective for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
If you have remaining vaccine hesitancy, you are encouraged to visit the COVID-19 vaccine mythbusters FAQs on the HealthyWA website and to discuss with your employer, union and support networks.
I am a health care worker or health support worker, however, I have a health condition that precludes me from getting vaccinated. What should I do?
The Health Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions provide for a limited category of medical exemption, which is recorded on the Australian
Immunisation Register and displayed on the individual's Immunisation History Statement.
If you are a health care worker or health support worker, and you believe you may fall within the category of medical exemption that precludes you from vaccination, you will be required to provide proof on request to your employer. View The Health Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions (PDF).
Question: I am a health care worker or health support worker who refuses to comply with the Health Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions. Will I lose my job?
The Health Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions create a legal requirement for the health care and health support workforce to be vaccinated in order to attend their workplace. The source of the Directions, which will come into effect at 12.01 am on 1 October 2021, are the Chief Health Officer's emergency powers as an authorised emergency officer under the Public Health Act 2016 (WA).
While the Directions do not force individual health care workers or health support workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the Directions restrict access to health care facilities and prevent unvaccinated workers from entering or remaining at health care facilities from specified dates. The practical effect of these Directions require mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 for all health care workers and health support workers who wish to continue their employment in the health sector.
Read The Health Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions (PDF).