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COVID-19: Update from WALGA President and CEO
20 October 2021

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Pending COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements Announced
The State Government has announced a three-phase COVID-19 vaccination policy with accompanying mandates that will be applied to different workforces across the State, with Directions to bring mandates into effect yet to be drafted.
Today’s announcement sets out the overarching policy and framework for a phased approach of vaccination requirements, with categories of employees and occupation required to be fully vaccinated by either 31 December 2021 or 31 January 2022.
View the summary of phases and outlined occupations here.
Government Roundtables will be convened in the coming weeks to inform Directions and Health Orders that will bring the first two phases of the framework into effect. The sector will have an opportunity through WALGA to participate in the Roundtables. 
Whilst it is the responsibility of employees to be vaccinated, it will be the responsibility of employers to ensure staff under nominated occupations presenting to work are vaccinated.
Stage 1 requires vaccination of first dose by 1 December and full vaccination by 31 December of employees in occupations determined to have high transmission risk, or are a vulnerability risk or are necessary or critical to the safety of the community. 
This includes occupations in air transport, primary and community health, staff working in or entering remote Aboriginal communities, community care services including disability, mental health, homelessness, drug and alcohol services, child protection, family and domestic violence and Aboriginal peoples.
Whilst Fire and Emergency Services staff are included in this phase, volunteers are excluded.
Stage 2 requires vaccination of first dose by 31 December and full vaccination by 31 January 2022 of employees in industries and workforce deemed critical to ongoing delivery of business and the function of the community.  This includes child care services; accommodation facilities; building, maintenance or construction services and ‘critical infrastructure and services necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the community.’
WALGA will be seeking sector input into the upcoming Roundtables to clarify occupation categories relevant to Local Government operations and requirements of the sector and Local Governments as employers. 
For more information, email the COVID-19 response team.
Immediate Considerations for Local Government
Local Governments are encouraged to consider the following activities ahead of finalised public health orders and directions being released.
Encourage employees to be vaccinated now
Local Governments can start planning now by encouraging all employees to be vaccinated. Some Local Governments are providing incentives to employees who have received two vaccines and are providing time off work for employees to receive the vaccine. Members are reminded to ensure that all employee communications regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and incentive programs comply with the guidance published by the Therapeutic Goods Administration which you can view here.
Consider how your Local Government will collect employee vaccination information
Local Governments will need to collect information regarding an employee’s vaccination status in order to comply with a public health order. Consider the process you will implement to collect that information (and any privacy, confidentiality and data security requirements), and which employees will be responsible for collecting that information.
Determine which employees can and can’t work from home
The current Mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations summary indicates that in the event of a lockdown, for those employees who are unable to work from home, they must be fully vaccinated in order to attend work. Consider your workforce composition and determine whether particular employees can work from home. 
For more information, email the COVID-19 response team.
Breakfast Seminar: HR Responses to COVID-19
Local Government CEOs and HR Managers are invited to attend a WALGA Breakfast seminar on the HR challenges Local Governments are facing in response to COVID-19.
The seminar program will include discussion of the impending vaccination requirements announced today and impacts for the sector including responsibilities and operational considerations for Local Governments as employers.

Date:        Friday, 29 October 
Time:       7:45am to 9:45am (registrations and breakfast from 7:15am) 
Venue:     WALGA Boardroom, ONE70, LV1,
                 170 Railway Parade, West Leederville WA
Cost:        Free (registration essential)

To register for in-person attendance or webinar, click here.
For more information, email Event Manager, Ulla Prill.
ONE70, LV1, 170 Railway Parade,
West Leederville, WA 6007
PO Box 1544, West Perth, WA 6872
Tel: (08) 9213 2000 | Fax: (08) 9213 2077
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WALGA · ONE70, Level 1, Railway Parade · West Leederville, WA 6007 · Australia