Tue 19 Oct 2021 12:51AM

Covid 19 Vaccinations- Public Health Order/Directions

JE Jason Emmins Public Seen by 40

The NSW and Victorian Chief Health Officers have released Public Health Orders/Directions regarding vaccination status of staff/employees/members- see attached. I have not been able to locate any directives/orders for QLD at this stage (but I am going to presume there may be a similar type of order given.

As an organisation providing NDIS Services (specifically mentioned in the Public Health Orders/Directions) and other services we need to ensure our compliance with them. Of course if you are not able to receive a vaccination, you can request an exemption/contraindication certificate from your medical practitioner.

I understand this can cause some level of anxiety/worry (as individuals and as a whole/collective) but we need to ensure we are not breaching any of the orders and are compliant (as with other compliance requirements). I understand some members have some concerns/reservations and would like to invite people into a conversation regarding these concerns/reservations. Unfortunately (possibly like many organisations/agencies), we are in a difficult position where we have to meet compliance but there are concerns/reservations.

I will set a couple of dates/times and host an open discussion- please keep your eye out for an invite/notice.

In the mean time, please keep asking questions and seeking clarity.


Michaela Kennedy Tue 19 Oct 2021 1:23AM

I understand this is a really difficult situation for some of our members and may put some risk on members and the organisation. I do not ask anyone who chooses not to vaccinate to make it known publicly or in the organisation, however I do please ask that you contact me directly. Please know I am personally choosing not to vaccinate and will personally support anyone else who makes this choice. Please know your name and information will remain confidential with me.


Yvonne Tue 19 Oct 2021 5:55AM

Hey Jason, yes, it really a difficult space. This PHO was discussed today at the Sydney COSSIE meeting in relation to independent workers who support our people - either solo or with say, the MABLE platform. What was discussed was that all our participants receive NDIS funding , so who checks these workers if they have been COVID 19 vaccinated or not.??? TIA...further convos required!


Lisa Zulfiqar Tue 19 Oct 2021 9:01AM

Thanks Yvonne for raising this


Jason Emmins Tue 19 Oct 2021 10:42AM

Yes, very good question- there are things I do know and some I don't but I will try to provide some clarity.

Either way for solo/independent workers they are still operating under an ABN thus operating a business in their location (i.e. NSW, QLD, Vic, Tas etc). These orders would apply to them. The onus is on the business owner/operator to ensure they meet all legislated criteria (this being one of them). If the solo/independents are employed under an employee arrangement (i.e. not a contractor) then the onus would be on the person that is employing them- if that makes sense.

I don't know for sure, but I know "big brother" (aka the Tax Man and ATO) are linked systems (just think all of our personal details are linked when we do our tax such as Medicare rebates etc) and there may be checks against their systems especially when it is known the person provides disability/care/social services (especially under NDIS). I think it is going to be a very interesting time in July when people start doing their tax.

What I also know is that the NSW Public Health Order has been challenged in the NSW Supreme Court and was dismissed (I also believe the same is occurring in Vic at present). The primary reason being the arguments failed on all grounds (arguments of insufficient long term data on COVID 19 Vaccine safety and side effects, violated rights to bodily integrity and privacy, represented a breach of natural justice, constitutional argument about civil conscription). This tells me the law is pretty black and white on this.


Alexandria Brown Tue 19 Oct 2021 10:40PM

Yep. I listened to the ruling. Very interesting. The judge said the "Court concedes that the science of safety and efficacy is uncertain", but that the court isn't there to make judgement about that, but only to look at whether the public health orders were illegal under constitutional law - which he deemed they weren't. Not sure whether the Plaintiffs are appealing and going for the High Court or not?


Michaela Kennedy Tue 19 Oct 2021 8:51PM

For those choosing not to vaccinate please check clause 3 and exemptions in clause 6. I am currently seeking further advise from medical and legal experts. More information to come.

3 Commencement and revocation 
(1) These directions commence at 11:59:00pm on 15 October 2021 and end at 11:59:00pm on 21 October 2021.


6 Exception — exceptional circumstances 

(1) An employer of a worker is not required to comply with clauses 4 and 5 if 
one or more of the exceptional circumstances specified in subclause (2) 
(2) The exceptional circumstances are: 
(a) a worker is required to perform work or duties that is or are necessary 
to provide for urgent specialist clinical or medical care due to an 
emergency situation or a critical unforeseen circumstance; or
(b) a worker is required to fill a vacancy to provide urgent care, to maintain 
quality of care and/or to continue essential operations due to an 
emergency situation or a critical unforeseen circumstance; or 
Example 1: a large number of workers furloughed due to exposure at a 
Tier 1 site. 
Example 2: a medical practitioner is required to work outside their 
ordinary place of residen
ce on short notice due to an emergency 

(c) a worker is required to respond to an emergency; or 
(d) a worker is required to perform urgent and essential work to protect 
the health and safety of workers or members of the public, or to protect assets and infrastructure.


Jason Emmins Wed 20 Oct 2021 8:15PM

A question was raised on our members facebook group by Rob (thanks Rob) regarding Independent Support Workers and continuing to be engaged by a participant despite not having a vaccine.

I have provided some of my thoughts above but the Bored is also working a position paper/strategy in response to questions and the Public Health Orders. We are hoping to have this out for consultation/feedback within the next 24 hours.

Its a moving beast as now the ACT and WA have also mandated vaccines for disability workers (as of yesterday)- I am going to presume (based on the uptakes of the State Governments) that other States/Territories are also going to do the same. I also think as the Supreme Court in NSW ruled against the arguments put forward in the challenge to the mandated vaccine, it has now set a precedent for other states to do the same (even though its a different jurisdiction) .

I have also since found out that as an "incentive" the NDIS are offering Registered Providers $100 per worker that is vaccinated after a certain date in October- I will try to find the "official" advice of this as I viewed it on Facebook (and we know how reliable facebook is).


Jason Emmins Thu 21 Oct 2021 8:40AM

The Bored met tonight to talk through a Position Paper/Strategy in response to the evolving Vaccine requirements under Public Health Orders/Directives.

I do want to acknowledge upfront this is a very sensitive, individual and difficult conversation/topic and we all feel/experience levels of discomfort. We are absolutely committed to hosting open membership discussions and offer a safe environment for people to discuss this difficult topic.

Attached is a Draft Covid Vaccination Mandate Strategy that hopefully provides a Win Win. It would be great for your feedback on this document.

The Bored have further questions we are exploring as we don't have all the information yet. It would be great if you could consider the below questions (answering any/all) and add any that you may have.

The questions we are exploring are:

·       What do we know thus far?  

·       What don’t we know or a little unsure of (the gaps)?

·       Based on what we know and what we don’t know thus far - what are some conclusions/hypotheses we can draw from the information (making sense of it all)?

·       How do we get a harmonious balance (Win/Win)?

·       How will we keep up to date on any changes and when will we review our strategy?

·       What other questions do you have?

·       Are there other pertinent resources or information you can share with us (in writing and from its source)?


Jason Emmins Fri 22 Oct 2021 9:33PM

Interim Harmonious Balance thought- can we potentially offer only remote services (i.e. Support Co, BIS) in the interim whilst we get more information and advice, especially for anyone that is not vaccinated? This would reduce the risk and potentially comply with the order by not offering face to face/physical interaction. We have been providing more remote services/supports during the outbreaks/lockdowns so its just a continuation of what we have been doing. Thoughts?


Lisa Zulfiqar Mon 25 Oct 2021 3:36AM

I think this is a good idea until you update further


Michaela Kennedy Sun 31 Oct 2021 10:38AM

In the mandated areas I think it is wise to work remote for those that have not had the jab. Hopefully we will have more advice soon.


Dee Brooks Thu 23 Dec 2021 7:45AM

Hi All,

Please find attached the Jeder COVID Vaccination Mandate Win Win Strategy v2, based on legal advice and updated information!

Further questions we are exploring:

1.    What don’t we know or a little unsure of (the gaps)?

2.    How do we get a harmonious balance (Win/Win)?

3.    What other questions do you have?

4.    How do we meet our obligations under the new NDIS practice standards to ensure the health, well-being and safety of the participants we support?

5.    What is our legal position in regards to employed members sharing information that is in contradiction to mandates or directives?

Please let us know if you have any further concerns, queries or questions!


Kaeleen Hunter Wed 29 Dec 2021 12:26PM

this really took some finding....................I feel this deserves a wider lens


Dee Brooks Wed 29 Dec 2021 1:40PM

Hhmm, you're right! I'll create a new thread! Thanks!


Michelle Dunscombe Thu 21 Oct 2021 9:47AM

This information from WorkSafe Victoria might be useful https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/information-workers-required-be-vaccinated

I am mindful the strategy does not mention the strategy or action for collection & storage of Vaccine Certificates of members. My understanding is that organisations have the responsibility for ensuring that mandates are followed or risk large fines.


Jason Emmins Thu 21 Oct 2021 11:12AM

Thanks Michelle- this is quite handy.

We do need to discuss how we are going to collect and store the vaccine certificates. We have existing HR files at present and I would be proposing, when the time is right to store them here. They do not need to publicly available documents (as with HR files) and its a column added to one of our HR Register like our Criminal History Checks, WWCC etc.


Michaela Kennedy Mon 25 Oct 2021 12:24AM

Thanks Michelle - can you please see if there is anything similar for the other states


Jason Emmins Tue 26 Oct 2021 10:09PM

Here is some info from Safe Work NSW- Vaccination requirements for workers | NSW Government


Poll Created Thu 28 Oct 2021 6:53AM

Resources to help you host a conversation about the Covid Vaccine Closed Fri 5 Nov 2021 6:02AM

The Covid Vaccine Mandate has been released in various states/territories over the last few weeks. This has generated a lot of discussion, uncertainty and confusion.

Throughout the Loomio Post we have shared some resources and information that is publicly available and from credible sources.

The Bored has been meeting and discussing the Mandate regularly and have developed a Response Strategy (which has been shared with everyone). We acknowledge that some of the people we support and/or their families may still be asking you for information/advice and it may be difficult for you to host this conversation. Whilst we don't want to give advice (as this can also be biased with our own view/s), we are happy to share credible information we have found.

Would you find it useful to have a guide/resource kit for these discussions?


Results Option % of points Voters
Yes, it would be helpful to have a resource kit. 65.0% 13 MK DB LZ MH AB TA DU FP DR KH EW DD EC
No, I am confident I can host these discussions and give balanced information 35.0% 7 MD JE AB BM FDP VT JAC

20 of 55 people have voted (36%)


Michelle Dunscombe Thu 28 Oct 2021 6:53AM

No, I am confident I can host these discussions and give balanced information

I would be concerned giving any other information than that offered by the respective health departments as we could be held liable if people misinterpret other sources of information.


Francisco de Paula Thu 28 Oct 2021 6:53AM

No, I am confident I can host these discussions and give balanced information

Because I have been having those conversations with the families. I always refer them to check with their GP.


Michaela Kennedy Thu 28 Oct 2021 6:53AM

Yes, it would be helpful to have a resource kit.

I would like to think all Jeder members would give reliable information and supported their participants decisions. I do think it would be best to have consistent information that we can share.


Drew Rogers Thu 28 Oct 2021 6:53AM

Yes, it would be helpful to have a resource kit.

I've had a lot of discussions where confusion reigns supreme on this topic.Would be great to have a summarised and compact version of information perhaps stemming directly from the public health order and government sites. Anything/anyone elaborating on the orders, legislation and enforcement is just interpretation right?

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Drew Rogers Tue 2 Nov 2021 12:43AM

Did we get any legal advice as to how penalties will be enforced? It seems clear through the public health act that any unvaxxed person working in disability is now illegal but so was mask wearing and that seemed up to police discretion. I'd hate for a robodebt scenario to arise though where workers are fined retroactively through invoicing. Disobeying public health orders is a minimum $1000 fine and $5500 every day of non compliance thereafter. Worst case scenario would be devastating.


Michaela Kennedy Mon 10 Jan 2022 6:39PM

Has anyone heard of anyone getting fines? Hopefully everyone is complying with the rules while working. Can’t control what people do in their personal life.


Alexandria Brown Tue 2 Nov 2021 2:48AM


Alexandria Brown Thu 4 Nov 2021 3:18AM

I rang the NDIA and the Covid National Hotline for some advice about this issue. I said that I have participants who have trusted key support workers who aren't vaccinated. The participant wants to work with these workers with the full knowledge that they aren't vaxed and that the Public Health order mandates the vax. I asked:

1: Who would be responsible for fines, if they're imposed? The independent support worker or the participant?

2: Is there any talk of policing breaches of the public health order?

The NDIS operator got advice from their supervisor and told me that disability support workers can continue to work if unvaccinated as long as they abide by "state rules" (???? But doesn't this mean the public health order - state rules???)

The Covid Hotline operator told me that it would be the support worker as a sole trader that would be responsible for any fines if policed and imposed, not the participant. She also said that she hadn't heard of any talk in regard to policing this and implementing fines because it would be difficult and costly.

I also rang our local MP's office about this. They said they'd do some investigating and get back to me. So......MORE BIG SHRUGS AND HEAD SCRATCHING.


Drew Rogers Thu 4 Nov 2021 4:53AM

Well i guess there's some comfort in knowing we're all in the same boat. Even if we can't figure out if it's safe or sinking 😆


Michaela Kennedy Mon 10 Jan 2022 6:42PM

Thanks for doing this Alex, I hope this shows no-one really knows how it will be enforced or if it will.


Aleks Jovanovic Mon 8 Nov 2021 2:38AM

Sorry that I missed the opportunity to vote. For what its worth, No, I am confident I can host these discussions and give balanced information :)