Dear Friends of IFISS,
We have put together some of the information regarding the mandatory vaccination requirements for the funeral industry.
As we are not a legal authority nor are we experts in this field, we cannot give you legal advise. What we have done is attached links and identified information that appears to pertain to the death industry.
We will continue to keep you updated as soon as we have more clarity.
At this stage it appears that the funeral industry is classed as an authorised worker, however we are not mentioned clearly in the new directions from the acting CHO COVID 19 Mandatory Vaccination Directions (No 4) Public Health & Wellbeing Act 2008(Vic) section 200. This does not mean that we will not be fined or excluded from the new directions.
Authorised worker is:
Any person who performs work that is essential for the continued operation of:
- an Authorised Provider; or
- authorised health services; or
- any interpreters, cultural or other support workers to the extent that they are providing support to authorised providers; or
- funerary or mortuary services or related activities; or
- marriage celebrant only if one or both of the two persons being married are at the end of life, or will be deported from Australia unless the marriage takes place; or
- elective surgery and post-operative care in health services in regional Victoria; or
- emergency services, including both volunteers and paid workers in:
Limited exemptions are intended to apply including medical and for the consular and diplomatic corps.
In limited exceptional circumstances, an operator could approve unvaccinated workers to continue working if it is necessary, including:
- for a worker to provide for urgent specialist clinical or medical care at the work premises due to an emergency situation or a critical unforeseen circumstance; or
- for a worker to fill a vacancy to provide urgent care, to maintain quality of care and/or continue essential operations at the work premises due to an emergency situation or a critical unforeseen circumstance; or
- for a worker who is required to attend the premises to respond to an emergency at the work premises; or
- for a worker to sustain human or animal health, safety and wellbeing where a vaccinated worker cannot be sourced in a timely manner; or
- for a worker to make a premises safe and secure, or to perform urgent and essential work to protect assets and infrastructure where a vaccinated worker cannot be sourced in a timely manner.
If I choose not to have the COVID-19 vaccine, can my employer require me to provide my reasons or other medical evidence?
- Your reasons for choosing to not have the COVID-19 vaccination and medical evidence related to this decision is also considered to be sensitive information under the Privacy Act. As with vaccination status information, your employer can generally only collect this information with your consent, and the collection must be reasonably necessary for your employer’s functions or activities.
- However, if there is an Australian law – such as a public health order or direction – that requires your employer to collect your vaccination status information and reasons for non-vaccination, you may be required to provide your employer with your reasons or medical evidence exempting you from vaccination. The information collected should be limited to what is specified in the relevant law, or to what is reasonably necessary in circumstances where it is collected by consent.
We understand how challenging this can be, we are here to help you where we can.
We can not advise you but we can support you.
Please call us anytime if you have any questions.
IFISS Team Support