Employees who refuse to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or take a flu shot if requested to do so by their employer risk termination following a recent majority decision by the Fair Work Commission Full Bench, says legal firm Creevey Russell Lawyers.
Aged care receptionist Jennifer Kimber was sacked from a NSW south coast nursing home in July last year after refusing to have a flu jab after it was made mandatory by the NSW government. The Fair Work Commission Full Bench this week refused her permission to appeal after the Commission ruled against her unfair dismissal claim in May last year.
Creevey Russell Principal Dan Creevey said the ruling by the Full Bench has serious implications for employees and employers.
“This ruling means workers who refuse a workplace direction to be vaccinated can face termination for non-compliance,” Mr Creevey said.
“Of course, every case in a matter such as this will be treated differently but it is now important for any employer considering the implementation of a workplace policy to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for staff to seek legal advice beforehand with respect to their obligations. Similarly, if you are an employee concerned about an employer’s vaccination mandate you should explore your legal options.”
Creevey Russell Associate Samantha Robinson said “Vice-president of the Commission Adam Hatcher and Commissioner Bernie Riordan dismissed Ms Kimber’s application to appeal after finding receiving the vaccination was a lawful workplace requirement and her dismissal was not harsh, unjust or unreasonable, and was for a valid reason and procedurally fair.”
Ms Robinson said Deputy President Lyndall Dean strongly disagreed with the majority decision, saying it was a serious injustice to Ms Kimber which denied her protections under workplace law.
"Ms Dean declared that mandatory immunisation could not be justified in ‘almost every workplace in Australia’ and that Australians ‘should vigorously oppose the introduction of a system of medical apartheid and segregation in Australia’.”
Further inquiries: Dan Creevey (07) 4617 8777
: Samantha Robinson (07) 3009 6555
About Creevey Russell Lawyers
Creevey Russell Lawyers is a full service law firm which operates primarily from our Brisbane practice, with the capacity to provide superior legal services to western Queensland through our Toowoomba practice. Creevey Russell Lawyers deliver results to a variety of clients including developers, corporations, accountants, liquidators and private clientele.