Covid vaccinations and fair work law

The validity of an employer’s covid vaccination policy does not live or die by whether or not it is supported by a State government health mandate prohibiting the employer from permitting unvaccinated employers to enter the workplace.

“I do not consider the fact that the Respondent’s industry has not been the subject of NSW Public Health Orders mandating vaccinations has any weight in assessing the reasonableness of the COVID Plan and the Addendum. Whilst the existence of a government mandate requiring vaccination to enter a high-risk setting may weigh in favour of a complementary policy at that setting being reasonable, the converse is not true. The reasonableness of an employer’s policy proposing a vaccination requirement is to be objectively considered on its merits, and not be burdened by a presumption of unreasonableness simply because government authorities have not declared that worksite to be a high-risk setting.”

Yan v Nu Skin Enterprises Australia, Inc (2022) FWC 1426 30 June 2022 per Cross DP