"An Ai Group national employer survey testing the pulse of business attitudes towards mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in workplaces has found more than half were in favour of some form of mandating,” Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.

"Of the more than 700 companies surveyed earlier this month:

  • 24% said they would like to mandate COVID vaccinations for some or all of their employees; and
  • 27% said they would only like COVID vaccination to be mandated through a health order related to their industry.

"A further 37% said they will 'offer and encourage optional COVID vaccines' while the remaining 10% were unsure or said it was not applicable to their workplaces.
"It is clear from the survey responses that many businesses are looking to mandate COVID vaccination and they will be closely watching those already moving in this direction and assessing what approaches and circumstances will be considered lawful and reasonable.
"The group that favours health orders being in place no doubt would prefer the legal certainty that comes with such orders. However, governments do not appear to favour any significant expansion of the small number of such health orders now in place.
"For employers the question of whether or not to mandate has a long tail. Employers will initially look at the issue from the perspective of how they can protect their staff and their customers. As more businesses mandate vaccination, the question will shift to whether they will need to mandate vaccination for their own staff who visit businesses that have a mandate in place. There are also complexities for labour hire companies sending workers all over the country and for group training companies sending their apprentices into businesses that may mandate vaccination.
"The message for policy makers is that despite the red herring put around in recent days that health orders are the only way to go for mandating COVID vaccinations, there are a large number of employers ready to use longstanding legal rights to introduce mandating where lawful and reasonable,” Mr Willox said.

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