Public servants not required to get COVID-19 vaccine

Queensland's public servants won't be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available, but it will be strongly recommended.

It comes after some of the state's biggest employers left the door open to introducing a "no jab, no pay" policy, with the retail sector saying a mass uptake of the ­jab could be the only way out of the "COVID-normal" way of life.

Asked whether public servants in Queensland would be required to get the vaccine, Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said the Government wanted the vaccine to be as accessible as possible to Queenslanders.

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath. Picture: Steve Pohlner
Health Minister Yvette D'Ath. Picture: Steve Pohlner

"Queensland Health will work with Queenslanders and to ensure individuals are informed about how, when and why the vaccine is being rolled out," she said.

"The delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations will coincide with communications and public awareness efforts across the country, in co-ordination with the Commonwealth Government.

"Vaccination will assist to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and protect vulnerable members of the community."

RACQ, Domino's and Queensland's two largest local governments haven't ruled out requiring workers to get the COVID-19 jab, last month saying they'll "assess the merits of the vaccine as more information becomes available".

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland senior industrial relations specialist Michael O'Brien said the body was advocating for federal government direction around the issue.

"(For) a lot of industries, it will come down to if you enforce someone to get the jab, you've got the potential of an unfair dismissal or discrimination claim," he said.

Mr O'Brien said in Queensland, mandatory jabs couldn't be enforced.

"At the moment they're (small business) just worried about survival," he said.

"It's another unknown area."

Education Minister Grace Grace last month declared "everything is on the table" when she was quizzed about whether COVID-19 jabs would be mandatory for school students and teachers.

She said she expected the issue to be addressed at national cabinet.

News Corp Australia recently revealed people aged over 70 will be prioritised when the vaccine becomes available, followed by 65-70-year-olds.

Everyone else will be divided into five-year increment age groups.

Originally published as Public servants not required to get COVID-19 vaccine