Australian Fair-Work-Commission Declares that Employers May Not Force Vaccines on Workers

Tanya Davies, Australian MP
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Australia: MP Tanya Davies reported that the Fair Work Commission, the national workplace relations tribunal that is an independent body with power to carry out a range of functions under the Fair Work Act, handed down a decision about a nursing home care worker who was fired from her job for refusing the flu vaccine. The decision was 44 pages long, and a large portion covered Covid vaccine mandates under the heading ‘Part 2 – Vaccine Requirements in Relation to Covid’. The document stated, “for the overwhelming majority of Australians, your work or workplace should not fundamentally alter the voluntary nature of vaccination.” The document also made it clear that “vaccinations are not designed to stop Covid. They are designed to reduce the symptoms of the virus, however a fully vaccinated person can contract and transmit Covid.” Therefore, there is no health advantage for health-care workers to be vaccinated. The document further encouraged Australians to reject medical apartheid and denying the rights of unvaccinated people. -GEG

Excerpts from the Fair Work Commission document:

[106] On 13 August 2021, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and the Business Council of Australia (BCA) issued a joint statement on mandatory COVID vaccinations in which it acknowledged the Australian Government’s COVID vaccination policy that the vaccine is voluntary, and confirmed the views of the BCA and ACTU that “for the overwhelming majority of Australians, your work or workplace should not fundamentally alter the voluntary nature of vaccination”. (emphasis added)

[107] The Fair Work Ombudsman has publicly stated that employers will need to have a “compelling reason” before requiring vaccinations, and that “the overwhelming majority of employers should assume that they can’t require their employees to be vaccinated against coronavirus”. (emphasis added)

[108] Safe Work Australia has publicly stated that “most employers will not need to make vaccinations mandatory to meet their [health and safety] obligations”. (emphasis added)

[111] Mandatory COVID vaccinations, however, cannot be justified in almost every workplace in Australia. While there are numerous reasons for this, this decision will focus on:

a) the requirement for freely given and informed consent for medical procedures;

b) denying an unvaccinated person the ability work on health and safety grounds, whether at the initiation of an employer or as part of a PHO; and

c) the requirements to comply with disability discrimination laws.

[113] Before turning to a consideration of these reasons, it is important to set the context with some information that is publicly available and should be uncontroversial:

a. Unlike many other vaccinations such as those used to stop the spread of tetanus, yellow fever and smallpox, COVID vaccinations are not designed to stop COVID. They are designed to reduce the symptoms of the virus, however a fully vaccinated person can contract and transmit COVID.

b. The science is clear in that COVID is less serious for those who are young and otherwise healthy compared to those who are elderly and/or who have co-morbidities. In other words, the risk of COVID is far greater for those who are elderly or have co-morbidities. Around 87% of those who have died with COVID in Australia are over 80 years old and had other pre-existing illnesses listed on their death certificates.

c. The World Health Organisation has stated that most people diagnosed with COVID will recover without the need for any medical treatment.

d. The vaccines are only provisionally approved for use in Australia and are accordingly still part of a clinical trial 20.

e. There are side effects to the COVID vaccines that are now known. That side effects exist is not a conspiracy theory.

f. The long-term effects of the COVID vaccines are unknown, and this is recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia.

Consent is required for participation in clinical trials

Can COVID vaccinations be mandated by employers on health and safety grounds?

[130] The short answer to this question, in almost every case, is no.

[145] In short, there is no justifiable basis for employers to mandate COVID vaccinations to meet their health and safety obligations when other options are available to appropriately manage the risk.

Final Comments

[179] Research in the context of COVID-19 has shown that many who are ‘vaccine-hesitant’ are well educated, work in the health care industry and have questions about how effective the vaccines are in stopping transmission, whether they are safe to take during pregnancy, or if they affect fertility. 37 A far safer and more democratic approach to addressing vaccine hesitancy, and therefore increasing voluntary vaccination uptake, lies in better education, addressing specific and often legitimate concerns that people may hold, and promoting genuine informed consent. It does not lie in censoring differing opinions or removing rights and civil liberties that are fundamental in a democratic nation. It certainly does not lie in the use of highly coercive, undemocratic and unethical mandates.

[180] The statements by politicians that those who are not vaccinated are a threat to public health and should be “locked out of society” and denied the ability to work are not measures to protect public health. They are not about public health and not justified because they do not address the actual risk of COVID. These measures can only be about punishing those who choose not to be vaccinated. If the purpose of the PHOs is genuinely to reduce the spread of COVID, there is no basis for locking out people who do not have COVID, which is easily established by a rapid antigen test. Conversely, a vaccinated person who contracts COVID should be required to isolate until such time as they have recovered.

[181] Blanket rules, such as mandating vaccinations for everyone across a whole profession or industry regardless of the actual risk, fail the tests of proportionality, necessity and reasonableness. It is more than the absolute minimum necessary to combat the crisis and cannot be justified on health grounds. It is a lazy and fundamentally flawed approach to risk management and should be soundly rejected by courts when challenged.

[182] All Australians should vigorously oppose the introduction of a system of medical apartheid and segregation in Australia. It is an abhorrent concept and is morally and ethically wrong, and the antihesis of our democratic way of life and everything we value.

[183] Australians should also vigorously oppose the ongoing censorship of any views that question the current policies regarding COVID. Science is no longer science if it a person is not allowed to question it.

[184] Finally, all Australians, including those who hold or are suspected of holding “anti-vaccination sentiments”, are entitled to the protection of our laws, including the protections afforded by the Fair Work Act. In this regard, one can only hope that the Majority Decision is recognised as an anomaly and not followed by others.

Read the full document here:  https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/html/2021fwcfb6015.htm?fbclid=IwAR3Rbn6ZuHKhmpj1iLL3vfU8vLQPkxFmz20WDrUwjpKI2Yj3HIV7wgl1Xxs

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DawnieR
DawnieR
7 months ago

Wow!! There ARE still (SANE) HUMANS in ‘power positions’, Down Under!! This is a game-changer for Aussie’s (and for the rest of the world??).

Boomer Lady
Boomer Lady
7 months ago

I live in San Diego, CA and am in the MeWe group Australian Vaccination-Risks Network, Inc (AVN), and here is what a member from Australis wrote in answer to this article.

“This is not true. One person out of three said this. The ruling went against the plaintiff. They lost the case.”

Mr. Griffin, just thought you’d like to know this.

Last edited 7 months ago by Boomer Lady
AllTimes
AllTimes
7 months ago

Hi Boomer Lady — read the document. Only half of it is about the flu vaccine case. Part 2 that addresses COVID vaccines is separate.