The Public Health (Covid-19 Vaccination of Education and Care Workers) Order 2022 quietly ended today, effectively allowing unvaccinated workers to now work in the education and care industries again.
However, the NSW government has made it clear that whilst the mandate is no longer enforced that vaccination requirements will now be dealt with via applicable work, health, and safety obligations.
“The NSW Department of Education has currently decided to continue to enforce vaccination on it’s staff saying in a Facebook post “The NSW Department of Education currently has a Secretary’s determination for all department staff to be double vaccinated against COVID-19.
This will be in place until the department decides its policy position based on a work health and safety risk assessment. Until the risk assessment is complete, the Department continues to require double vaccination for all people doing work on school sites that involves direct interaction with students, including volunteers.”
AINN has reached out to the NSW Department of Education to find out how long this risk assessment is expected to take and will report back when we have an answer.
We are also seeking an answer from TAFE NSW, Catholic Schools NSW, and others to find out their stance on the removal of the mandates, but if these institutes do not have rules in place within their work, health, and safety requirements then there is nothing stopping an unvaccinated employee from returning to work or applying for a role in these and other private educational facilities.
This also applies across the care industry with workers now no longer mandated unless the employer has it as a condition of employment. However, some workers in the care industry will still be required to be vaccinated if they fall under the Public Health (Covid-19 Care Services) Order 2022. Due to the complexity of the competing Public Health orders and the WHS rules in place in some private and public settings, it would be wise for anyone within the industry to research your particular situation.
We will continue to investigate and get answers from the larger educational and care employers to see where they stand on the removal of the mandate.