By Robby Magyar
The NSW Government has released the Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order (No 2) 2021 (Order), which as of 15 December 2021 repeals the Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 and the associated vaccination requirements which have been imposed on restricted businesses across the state for the last two months.
As of 15 December 2021, there are no longer obligations placed on businesses to confirm the vaccination status of visitors or employees, which means unvaccinated persons may now visit and work in the following previously restricted premises:
- Higher risk premises including entertainment facilities, major recreation facilities and hospitality venues;
- Business premises that are hairdressers, spas, nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlours or massage parlours;
- Recreation facilities (indoor);
- Public swimming pools;
- Information and education facilities; and
- Retail premises
Businesses should be careful about taking actions to prohibit entry to any of the above premises based on vaccination status, as they are unable to rely on the public health orders to justify such a decision and it may be found unlawful.
Unless your business has its own compulsory vaccination policy (which should only have been implemented following careful consultation with affected employees), any unvaccinated employees who are currently on a period of unpaid leave as a result of non-compliance with the directions may now return to work.
The Order retains obligations to wear face masks in certain circumstances, including when on public transport and for non-fully vaccinated workers working in indoor areas of a hospitality venue who are dealing directly with members of the public. Additionally, check-in requirements still apply for certain premises such as pubs, registered clubs, nightclubs, places of public worship, hairdressers, beauty salons and more.
If this information has raised any questions or concerns, please contact the team at HR Assured – we’re always here to support you.
Clients of HR Assured can contact the 24/7 Telephone Advisory Service any time.
If your business is not an HR Assured client, we’d like to offer you a no-obligation, complimentary 30-minute consultation call. Employers can speak to our friendly workplace relations consultants and seek advice about this new legislation or an existing workplace issue. You can arrange your complimentary consultation here.
Robby Magyar is a Workplace Relations Consultant at FCB and HR Assured who relishes the opportunity to assist businesses in the best practice approach to managing employees and compliance concerns. He has a particular interest in making employment law and human resources digestible for our clients.