Effective from 6pm on Friday 12 November 2021, Victorian employers must sight more than a medical certificate to establish that a worker is exempt from the mandatory vaccination requirements (Vaccination Requirements).
According to new Directions issued by the Chief Health Officer on 29 October 20211, existing medical certificates will no longer be valid to exempt workers from the Vaccination Requirements. Instead, workers will need to provide a new ‘acceptable certification’, being an Immunisation Medical Exemption Form (IM011 Form), to prove their exemption from the Vaccination Requirements. The IM011 Form is a Medicare form that must be completed and signed by the person’s medical practitioner and must state that they are unable to receive the first or second dose of the vaccine because of a medical contraindication or an acute medical illness.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have released expanded guidance for medical practitioners to support the issuing of temporary medical exemptions. The Victorian Government has also released guidance for medical practitioners in determining whether a patient meets the ATAGI requirements.
Medical practitioners are required to submit IM011 Forms to Services Victoria, Australian Immunisation Register for uploading to the patient’s Immunisation Record. Once the IM011 Form is approved, a formal certificate will then be available for the patient via the myGov website (Formal Exemption Certificate).
Under the Directions, employers are not required to request the Formal Exemption Certificate but must keep a record that they have seen the IM011 Form and make a note of the expiry date on the IM011 Form.
As a result of the above changes, we recommend that employers:
- notify any workers who have previously submitted a medical certificate that they must provide an IM011 Form to support their exemption from the Vaccination Requirements from 6pm on 12 November;
- sight and keep a record of workers who have an IM011 Form and the expiry date for the IM011 Form; and
- ensure that workers do not attend site (or work outside their place of residence) if they do not meet the Vaccination Requirements or produce an IM011 Form as required.
If you have any further questions about the above, please contact our Workplace Relations team.
1. See updated Mandatory Vaccination Directions: Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions (No 6); Mandatory Vaccination (Specified Facilities) Directions (No 11) and Mandatory Vaccination (General Worker) Directions.
Note that the same new requirements to businesses who are required to ensure visitors are vaccinated before allowing entry under the Open Premises Directions (No 3).
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