Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate
The Secretary has stated that; ‘Patient and staff safety is paramount, which the mandatory vaccination of all Department of Health employees against COVID-19 also supports” the secretary also advises that the Department is working with a small number of people who have indicated they are reluctant, or refusing, to have a vaccine and they will continue to do this until 31 October 2021.
The following answers have been provided by the Department of Health regarding members questions:
Adverse Reaction to Vaccine & Workers Compensation
If a member has a reaction, believed to be related to vaccination, they will be able to use the usual process to access Workers Compensation where their claim will be assessed.
Options for Redeployment
The Public Health Direction mandates that all Department of Heath employees are required to be vaccinated regardless of their work location. The overarching mandate to vaccinate all health care workers means there will not be any redeployment opportunities as all health premises are included (this also means an inability to facilitate the redeployment of private sector health care workers).
Leave Without Pay (LWOP)
Members, who wish to have further time to consider becoming vaccinated, will have their application for LWOP considered on a case-by-case basis. However, large-scale LWOP applications, will not be approved as it will have an ongoing impact to back-fill positions during a COVID-19 public health emergency.
Vaccination if a Member is on Leave on 31 October
A member who is on long term leave will be required to demonstrate their vaccination status at the expiry of the approved leave, in order to return to their rostered shifts.
Service Continuity and Operational Impact
As vaccination status is collected and reviewed, business continuity options will be assessed and referred to the Health Executive through the Chief Executive Hospitals and Chief People Officer. Current recruitment activities have been instructed to rank suitable candidates for immediate appointment.
In the current operating environment, services are already reduced or temporarily ceased where staffing is unable to be maintained or where a service is unable to be safely delivered. Surge staffing will continually be assessed according to vaccination status updates prior to 31 October 2021.
No response was received to several questions the ANMF put forward on behalf of members including the request for forums with Department of Health and Public Health representatives to enable to members to ask questions directly. The ANMF will continue to advocate for this opportunity for all members. The ANMF have also asked if there might be redeployment opportunities within the public sector but outside of health, again, we are waiting on a response to this question.
Updates correct as at 14 October 2021.
Authorised by Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary