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COVID-19: The case for mandatory vaccinations in the workplace

In late July 2021 the federal and state governments agreed a four-stage National Plan to open up the economy and the broader community, and learn to live with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future. The final stage will be reached when more than 80 per cent of the population aged 16 and over is fully vaccinated. The Doherty Institute modelling on which the National Plan relies does, however, indicate that Australia still has some way to go to get out of the ‘suppression stage’ and into phase D open international borders, no lockdowns and management of COVID-19 consistent with influenza and other infectious diseases. 

On the path to phase D, the community will continue to endure on-going lockdowns and uncertainty which impacts our social and working lives as we increase our vaccination rates. 

Set out in this article is our analysis of the principal issues that need to be addressed in the context of mandating the COVID-19 vaccination for employees. In this context when we refer to ‘mandatory vaccination’ we are referring to compelling vaccination by direct or indirect consequences, and the imposition of restrictions in cases of non-compliance. 

Access your copy of ‘COVID-19 - The case for mandatory vaccinations in the workplace’ online, or on ‘DOWNLOAD PDF’ to the right.

This article was originally co-authored by Nicholas Ellery.


John Tuck


Paul Burns


Nick Le Mare

Head of Employment and Labour


Workplace Health and Safety

This publication is introductory in nature. Its content is current at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should always obtain legal advice based on your specific circumstances before taking any action relating to matters covered by this publication. Some information may have been obtained from external sources, and we cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such information.

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