Business leaders have been gifted more guidance from the Federal Government on vaccinations in the workplace with the announcement of a “no fault COVID-19 indemnity scheme”.
The scheme, revealed by Health and Aged Care minister Greg Hunt on Saturday, offers protections to Australians receiving vaccines that are approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration regardless of where it is done.
It will also extend compensation for workers who get the vaccine, and who may need time off afterward to recover.
“Side effects, or adverse events, from COVID-19 can occur, but most are mild,” Hunt said. “Serious and life-threatening side effects are very rare, but it is important that we provide a safety net to support those affected.”
This move will allow business that wish to help the vaccination efforts by hosting on-site vaccination hubs to do so in a more legally-safe manner, and will support those workers who need to work, but can’t due to the impact of a vaccine.
“We’ve been advocating strongly for indemnity protections for employers so they can administer vaccines safety and confidently, and we’re pleased to see this scheme finally in place,” Australian Retailers Association boss, Paul Zahra, said.
“Employers have been looking…for leadership and guidance on this matter, given the legal risks of workplaces administering jabs. This will now allow businesses to get on with finalising their workplace vaccination programs which will further improve take-up rates.”
Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott also welcomed the scheme, stating it will play a role in allowing businesses to play their part in the vaccine rollout.
“[This] announcement will give thousands of businesses the confidence to get on with this task,” Westacott said.
This story first appeared on our sister publication Inside Retail