After the Premier’s press conference earlier this week when she announced the roadmap to opening (a Christmas Miracle), a couple of key points have come to light.
- It will be up to business to determine if they wish to serve unvaccinated people in their business – if they do, they may have restrictions put on their operations.
- It will be up to business if they wish to continue to employ unvaccinated staff – if they do, they may have restrictions put on their operations.
- When the borders are opened, if an area has a number of cases, this area may be required to be put into lockdown.
- If an area goes into lockdown, no compensation or support will be available for the businesses in that area.
For both one and two it is unknown how this might be undertaken, who might enforce it, or if fines will be attached.
We don’t know if you are breaching privacy laws by asking about a person’s vaccination status and we don’t know if refusing of service is discriminatory or not – “it depends” is all we can get at the moment.
We don’t know if you can be sued for wrongful dismissal by sacking your staff and we don’t know where you might find replacement staff, given the shortages in the job market.
For three and four, we don’t know how many cases will trigger a lockdown, or how long an area might need to stay in lockdown, after case numbers stabilize.
We do know that there will be no compensation for any business that is forced into lockdown. You’re on your own.
There are a lot of uncertainties for business that have come from the Premiers message, and no clarity is expected anytime soon.
If you haven’t yet, please send on to your members (and complete yourself), a short survey regarding these issues:
As previously communicated, we are advising businesses to tread carefully when it comes to mandatory vaccinations of staff, dismissal of staff for non-vaccinations, and refusal of service based on vaccination status.
At some point these issues will be tested in a court of law, and I wouldn’t want to be the first business to be in the court.