COVID-19 Update – Mandatory Vax 8 Oct 2021

COVID update – 8 October 2021 View this email in your browser

Mandatory Vaccination for Authorised Workers – 8 October 2021
Overnight, the updated Acting Chief Health Officer’s COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Directions (No. 6) were released.
After consultation over the past week with Government, and in line with the Premier’s original announcement, it was widely anticipated that the responsibility to collect, record, and hold vaccination information about workers and restrict access where required, would be the responsibility of the operator of an authorised facility. However, upon the release of the updated directions, the approach has now been confirmed that the responsibility to ensure authorised workers are vaccinated falls on employers

So what does this mean for work at the Melbourne Market? 
All market users are still required to have their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Friday, 15 October 2021 and fully vaccinated by 26 November 2021; however, it is now the responsibility of market businesses to collect, record and hold vaccination information about their workers and to restrict work on-site, not the MMA as the operator of the site.

Failure to comply with this COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Direction can result in severe penalties, including fines for individuals of up to $21,808 and up to $109,044 for businesses.
The Directions state that an employer must comply with any request by an Authorised Officer (e.g. Inspector) to produce vaccination information. The MMA expects that Authorised Officers will attend the site in the coming weeks to request vaccination information held by employers.

Business owners should note that they will be responsible for ensuring all market access cardholders listed against their business are vaccinated. Therefore, any market businesses registering additional access cardholders who do not actually work for you, run a significant risk of fines for any non-compliance. 

Any person or business who provides false or misleading information or documentation to an Authorised Officer faces severe penalties, including fines of up to $10,904 for individuals and up to $54,522 for businesses.

To assist businesses with complying with their obligations, the MMA can disconnect access cards of unvaccinated workers at the written direction of the businesses.  

Any person (with the exception of MMA workers) who had already provided evidence of their vaccination status to the MMA over the past week will have that information deleted from our records. 

In preparation for mandatory vaccination rules coming into effect, temperature screening will cease at Gate 1 entry and huts removed from the entry lanes. 

Opposition to these directions
The health and safety of market users and protecting the fresh produce supply chain is our most important priority. Any person found to be involved in a group gathering or demonstration on Market Land in opposition to these directions, which results in breaches of Market Operating Rules, face lifetime bans from the Melbourne Market. 

While these updated directions change the way we record vaccination data, what doesn’t change is the effect of COVID-19 on individuals and businesses. The most important thing you can do for the health and safety of yourself, your loved ones and your businesses is to get vaccinated. 

A summary of previous COVID-19 updates are kept on our website; click here to access.
If you have any further questions, you can call the 24-hour security number, 0408 334 555. 
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