Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (COVID-19 Vaccination Information) Regulations 2022

The Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (COVID-19 Vaccination Information) Regulations 2022 (the COVID-19 Vaccination Information Regulations) commenced on Tuesday, 12 July 2022 and operate for 12 months.

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Background

The COVID-19 Vaccination Information Regulations amend the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations) to enable employers to collect, record, hold and use COVID-19 vaccination information from specified persons* in certain circumstances for the purpose of performing a duty under Part 3 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and OHS Regulations.

Specifically, employers may collect, record, hold and use COVID-19 vaccination information from specified persons who attend or will attend a workplace under the management or control of the employer for the following purposes:

  • to determine reasonably practicable measures under the OHS Act to control risks to occupational health or safety (OHS) associated with COVID-19 at the workplace; and
  • to implement any reasonably practicable control measure to control those risks

*A specified person includes employees, independent contractors (and their employees), volunteers and students on placement permitted to attend a workplace under the management or control of the employer.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Information Regulations are permissive only and do not impose any additional obligations on employers beyond their existing duties under the OHS Act and OHS Regulations.

Equally, employers must continue to observe their existing duties including the duty to, so far as reasonably practicable, consult with employees in accordance with section 35 of the OHS Act when making decisions about the measures to be taken to control risks to health or safety.

Currently, the Pandemic (Workplace) Order 2022 (No.9) imposes certain obligations on employers in relation to their workers, in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Pandemic Orders made under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (PHW Act) may impose obligations on employers in relation to their workers, in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Any pandemic order made prevails over these Regulations, to the extent of any inconsistency.

Current pandemic orders

These COVID-19 Vaccination Information Regulations will expire 12 months after they commence and will require employers to destroy any COVID-19 vaccination information recorded or held under these regulations within 30 days of this date, unless otherwise required to destroy the information earlier or retain the information after this date.

Other obligations

There are legal obligations under other legislation which an employer must consider when collecting, recording and holding COVID 19 vaccination information. Contravention of these obligations may attract civil and/or criminal liability.

You can understand more about your obligations by visiting these websites:

WorkSafe Advisory Service

WorkSafe's advisory service is available between 7:30am and 6:30pm Monday to Friday. If you need more support, you can also contact WorkSafe using the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) or the National Relay Service.

1800 136 089 More contact options