COVID Vaccination Policy
The Covid Vaccination Policy outlines COVID-19 vaccination requirements for employees of the Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade.
The Covid Vaccination Policy outlines requirements for employees in order to:
- protect the public we serve, noting that many are vulnerable
- protect our employees and our families from potential infection through the public we serve and through interactions with each other
- provide a safe environment for our employees to work together and
- ensure business continuity for our public services.
Consistent with C2022-04 Guidance for Government Sector Agencies regarding COVID-19 Vaccinations for their Employees, the NSW Government strongly encourages government sector employees who can safely be vaccinated to remain up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations, as recommended by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) in their clinical guidance for the use of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Department has a duty to eliminate or, if that is not reasonably practicable, to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in workplaces. Based on an assessment of risk, COVID-19 vaccination in addition to other infection control measures, have been identified as recommended risk mitigants to manage COVID-19 risk in the Department’s workplaces. Infection control measures include personal masks, social distancing, ventilation, and personal hygiene measures.
Accordingly, the Secretary directs the following respectively:
- All employees have a responsibility to be COVID-safe at all times and follow the requirements set out in this policy.
- Mask wearing in roles where physical distancing is not possible, a risk assessment determines it necessary, or employees will be in contact with vulnerable people and communities as part of their role, as prescribed in Category A.
- The division head or their nominee may also make further directions to manage health and safety risks related to COVID-19 in department workplaces.
The policy applies to all Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade employees and workplaces.
For the purposes of this policy, the term ‘employee’ means ‘worker’ and refers to all persons undertaking work for or engaged by the Department in either a paid or unpaid capacity and who must comply with this policy. The term ‘manager’ means a supervisor or manager with the delegation to supervise and exercise management discretion.
All employees who can safely be vaccinated are strongly encouraged to remain up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations, as recommended by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) in their clinical guidance for the use of COVID-19 vaccines.
In addition, the following employee categories apply:
- Category A are employees who work with people or in environments where the risk of transmission and the risk to those contracting the virus is high. This includes those employees that work in the field, have regular contact with external stakeholders, or work with vulnerable people and communities.
- Up to date COVID-19 vaccination is strongly recommended for Category A employees.
- Mask wearing is required in roles where physical distancing is not possible, a risk assessment determines it necessary, or employees will be in contact with vulnerable people and communities.
- Adherence to infection control measures outlined in this Policy.
- Category B are employees who work in the back office and have low level contact with external stakeholders.
- Up to date COVID-19 vaccination is strongly encouraged for Category B employees.
- Adherence to infection control measures outlines in this Policy.
- All employees have a responsibility to ensure that the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Department workplaces is minimised as far as practicable; this means everyone must:
- Stay home if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms or feel unwell and follow NSW Health testing requirements.
- Maintain good hygiene by frequently washing or sanitising hands, sneezing or coughing into elbows, and cleaning your immediate workspace area after use.
- Keep their distance from others where possible, particularly when indoors. When distance cannot be maintained masks are strongly encouraged for example when travelling in vehicles and working in small workspaces i.e., small meeting rooms or when you cannot socially distance 1.5 meters from another person while undertaking a task.
- Work from home if you are identified as a close and/or household contact. If you must attend the workplace approval must be sought from a Senior Executive Band 1 and adhere to current NSW Health advice.
All department workplaces will operate in accordance with NSW Health requirements and maintain COVID safe practices in accordance with this policy.
Vulnerable people and communities
When engaging with vulnerable people and communities, employees must:
- Wear a mask at all times when in contact with vulnerable people and communities as part of their role, and
- Ensure the prescribed infection control measures are in place as specified in this Policy.
The department is required to identify COVID-19 hazards, assess these risks and implement effective control measures to minimise the risk (as far as practicable) of any individual contracting COVID-19 while conducting work activities.
- All business units are responsible for including COVID-19 hazards as part of any risk assessments for activities based on the most recent NSW Health advice.
- Employees must adhere to this policy and any additional control measures identified through a risk assessment.
- The department is committed to providing a safe workplace to all employees. This includes employees who may require reasonable adjustment due to higher risk of severe illness as a result of an underlying health condition or illness.
The COVID-19 risk assessment will be reviewed bi-annually and as often as is necessary to ensure that the risk assessment accurately reflects the working environment and the risk of COVID-19. If the risk materially changes this policy will be updated.
Further advice on this policy may be obtained from the People and Culture Branch.
In addition, employees may also discuss this policy and its application with their manager, branch head or a representative of the Public Service Association union.
Contractors, consultants and students should discuss this policy with their respective organisations / agency, and volunteers should also discuss this policy with their agency contact officer.
Roles and responsibilities
|All contractors and consultants|
|People and Culture|
Means an assessment undertaken by the Department to assess COVID-19 risks and hazards in relation to workplaces.
Means a vaccine recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration of the Commonwealth for use in Australia as a vaccine against COVID-19.
Means the DPC Circular C2021-16 Guidance for Government Sector Agencies regarding COVID-19 Vaccinations for their Employees, as amended, updated or replaced from time to time.
Has the same meaning as outlined in Section 7 of the Work Health & Safety Act 2011.
Has the same meaning as outlined in Section 8 of the Work Health & Safety Act 2011, which defines workplace as “a place where work is carried out for a business or undertaking and includes any place where a worker goes, or is likely to be, while at work.”
Means people and communities at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, including:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and those in remote communities
- People with disability
- Aged (over 70 years) including people in aged care settings
Means employees working with vulnerable people and communities.
Means employees working in the back office and have low level contact with vulnerable people and communities, and front facing customers.
To discuss this further, please contact People and Culture.
- Government Sector Employment Act 2013
- Government Sector Employment (General) Rules 2014
- Government Sector Employment Regulation 2014
- C2022-04 Guidance for Government Sector Agencies regarding COVID-19 vaccinations for their Employees
- Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade Code of Ethics and Conduct
- Work Health and Safety Act (NSW) 2011
- Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002
- SafeWork NSW – COVID-19
- Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI)
This policy replaces the previous COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.
The Department may amend this information from time to time as appropriate.
Next Review Date
People and Culture