Thursday 28 October 2021
Dear sector colleagues,
Last week I wrote to you about a Direction under the Emergency Management Act that recently came into place that will impact many staff in our sector who are required to carry out their duties in a health setting.
The Healthcare setting workers vaccination Direction brings South Australia in line with the National Cabinet endorsement of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) recommendation that all people working in a health care setting are vaccinated as a condition of work.
To assist organisations to determine whether this Direction applies to their staff and to the services they deliver, DHS has been working with SA Health and SAPOL to prepare an additional set of FAQs relevant to organisations who are contracted to deliver health services, who deliver health services in their premises, and who have staff in their organisation who deliver a wide-range of services and programs that may or may not be captured by this Direction.
These additional FAQs are being incorporated into the FAQs document published on the sa.gov.au website, however I am also pleased to be able to provide this information to you on this page.
Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for healthcare settings FAQs
Does this Direction apply to organisations that attend a healthcare setting?
Yes, this Direction applies to all persons who attend a healthcare setting in the course of their work or duties, including if their attendance is incidental such as delivery drivers or suppliers.
This Direction applies to any persons as described above, regardless of the industry they work for (eg, the organisation does not need to be a healthcare provider for its staff to be subject to this Direction).
As an employer, how do I determine if my employees are subject to this Direction?
To work out if your staff have to comply with this Direction, you will need to look at where your staff carry out their duties. This is because the Direction is setting-based, rather than based on the type of work a person undertakes. For example, it is not only healthcare workers who must comply.
This Direction applies to any employees who carry out their duties, at any time, in a healthcare setting, or where an organisation delivers a healthcare service at their premises.
Employees who are required to undertake any of their duties in those settings at any time (even if it’s only occasionally, such as having to accompany a client to the GP or hospital) must be vaccinated by the dates detailed in the Direction.
As an organisation that delivers healthcare services, does this mean that all of my staff must comply and be vaccinated?
Many organisations, especially non-government organisations, deliver a range of services across the community in South Australia.
This Direction applies only to the staff who carry out their duties in a healthcare setting.
For example, if an organisation employs people who are required to attend a healthcare setting as part of their work (like a community support worker who needs to go to a GP clinic with a client), they are subject to this Direction.
However, staff from the same organisation who do not need to attend a healthcare setting for their work (like a community support worker who delivers youth programs at the local library) are not required to comply with the Direction.
My organisation is funded by SA Health, Wellbeing SA or a Local Health Network to deliver a program or service – does this mean my organisation must comply with the Direction?
The source of funding for the service does not determine whether employees of an organisation must comply with the Direction.
If your organisation delivers a program or service that is either delivered in a setting, or is a service listed in the Direction under ‘Specialist Outpatient Facilities’, then your staff who attend the setting where these programs or services are delivered (either inside or outside of your organisation) must comply with the Direction and be vaccinated.
My organisation delivers healthcare services at our premises. Do we need to comply with the Direction?
Yes. If you provide a healthcare service, you must comply with the Directions.
As an organisation that delivers healthcare services at our premises, do I need to check the vaccination status of persons who attend the premises for work purposes?
Yes. All persons who undertake duties at the healthcare setting you manage, no matter how limited or incidental, whether or not they have contact with clients, or whether they are your employees or not, must be vaccinated.
As the operator of the facility, you may request that a person attending the setting provide you with proof of their vaccination status.
If a person who attends a facility run by my organisation for work purposes does not, or cannot, show proof of their vaccination status what do I do?
Any persons attending a facility that is defined as a healthcare setting under the Direction must provide proof of vaccination to the operator of the facility upon request.
If a person who has been requested to show proof cannot or will not provide this information to you, they should be advised that they cannot carry out their duties until such time that they can provide evidence of their vaccination status.
My organisation delivers healthcare services at our premises, but only in part of our building. Does every worker who attends the building need to be vaccinated, or just those who attend the healthcare service?
If the healthcare setting comprises the entirety of your organisation’s premises, then the Direction applies to any persons who attends the premises for work purposes.
If the healthcare setting, or the place where the health services is carried out, is in a discreet part of your premises, with separate entry, amenities, and no regular thoroughfare from the other parts of your organisation, then the Direction only applies to that defined part of your premises.
Your staff and any other persons who attends that part of the premises for work purposes, no matter for how long or how incidental, must comply with the Direction. Other staff in your organisation who do not frequent this part of your premises are not subject to comply with the Direction.
My organisation delivers healthcare services at our premises. Do clients need to be vaccinated in order to attend this service?
No. The Direction only applies to persons carrying out duties at these settings, not to clients and their families.
If you have any questions, please email the DHS COVID-19 Response team.
Chief ExecutivePage last updated : 28 Oct 2021