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Privacy Law versus the Pandemic

Privacy laws and employer vaccination requirements

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Privacy vs pandemic

Privacy vs pandemicMass vaccination appears to be our ticket out of lockdowns. However, concern is being raised by individuals and industry around the rights of employers to force employees to be vaccinated and the right of an employee to privacy.


There is currently no specific law requiring a person to be vaccinated. However, there are some workplaces that by their very nature require employees to vaccinated against COVID for example, health care and aged care. The Federal Government has recently mandated that all aged care workers be fully vaccinated by September 1 2021.


However, not everyone is able to be vaccinated and employers need to be careful about requesting employees to be vaccinated or else run the risk of direct or indirect discrimination.


It is not unlawful for an employer to request medical proof of an inability to obtain a vaccination provided that it is not for the purpose of discrimination. However, an employee’s medical records are protected by privacy laws. Therefore, an employer cannot access an employee’s medical records without their consent.

Legal concerns?

If you are concerned about your employer’s vaccination requirements, it is important that you seek legal advice. COVID is an ever-evolving beast that will no doubt throw up many employment and discrimination challenges.


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