A message from NT Chief Minister about vaccination requirements for workers
Written on the 19 October 2021 by Kelly Higgins
The NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced a new CHO Direction that makes the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for certain workers. For those who the CHO Direction applies, in order to continue working in the same role, they must have:
The CHO Direction will apply to the following:
A person is considered to be vulnerable to infection by COVID-19 if:
Importantly, the CHO Direction provides that from 25 December 2021, if a worker has not complied with the requirement to get vaccinated against COVID-19, they must not attend their normal workplace.
Under the CHO Direction, the employer or workplace operator must keep a register of each worker’s vaccination status and record of the steps the employer has taken to verify the worker’s vaccinations status. The employer must also record that they have sighted evidence of vaccination (for example, the worker has provided and the employer has sighted the worker’s Australian Government issued COVID-19 vaccination certificate). These records will need to be provided to an authorised officer upon request.
There are options available to an employer or workplace operator to make alternative arrangements for a worker who is not vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes directing the worker to complete duties in another location or in a manner which complies with the CHO Direction. Once the worker has been vaccinated, they can return to their normal duties.
Not every person is able to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The CHO Direction includes an exemption in the event that a person cannot receive a vaccine due to a proven contraindication to all available COVID-19 vaccines. The CHO Direction does not provide an exemption for someone who is able to get the vaccine, but chooses not to get the vaccine.
Under the Public and Environmental Health Act 2011, failing to comply with a CHO Direction is an offence and incurs penalties.
In the event a worker refuses to get the vaccine or refuses to disclose their vaccination status, that worker cannot enter the workplace, which may affect their employment. I encourage all business owners, employers and workplace operators to familiarise themselves with Work Health and Safety rules and regulations, and with the information and advice from FairWork Australia.
Implementing mandatory vaccination for certain workers is about providing our businesses and industries with protection and certainty. We cannot afford for people working in key industries to be struck down with COVID-19.
Vaccine appointments are available at NT Vaccination Centres, GP Clinics, Respiratory Clinics, Pharmacies and Aboriginal Health Clinics. You can book online or call the COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 490 484.
NT Health mobile vaccination teams also are available to provide information sessions on the COVID-19 vaccine for businesses and staff. They can also establish a pop-up vaccination clinic in the workplace to vaccinate eligible staff. For more information, please contact the NT Health vaccination team at COVID.MobileVaccination@nt.gov.au
For more information and Frequently Asked Questions about the mandatory vaccine visit https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/stay-safe/freedoms-and-restrictions.