INFORMATION BULLETIN – COVID 19 Urgent Update (VIC) | 8 October 2021

COVID-19 - Urgent Update

Dear Trainer,

The Victorian State Government issued their COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions overnight. These have been issued by the Government acting under the powers they enjoy in line with the declared State of Emergency that exists in this state.

Racing Victoria issued their industry wide vaccination policy edict in September. This designated that anyone entering a racecourse or public training centre (22 in number) must have made a choice to be vaccinated. Dates in this regard were 15 October for first vaccination, and 26 November for second.

The State Government Directions have added an overlay to this, with additional binding requirements applying to Employers and Workers.

Key elements to draw to your attention from the Government Directions follow:

Firstly, why does the Government have authority over the racing industry?

The Victorian State Government granted thoroughbred racing Authorised Industry status early in 2020. This in turn, allowed racing to continue uninterrupted in Victoria throughout the pandemic.

As a result, all persons who work in this industry were granted Authorised Worker status, giving them freedom of movement around Victoria to carry out their functions.

So, what is the Government Directions document?

This is a document which mandates ALL Authorised Workers MUST be vaccinated. This effects some 1.25million Victorians.

The Government passed this Health Order essentially, to ensure those defined Authorised Industries can continue to operate in a safe manner, both for the workforce engaged in that industry, and for those persons e.g.; customers, patrons, etc.; who may come into contact with the workforce.

What does this mean for an Authorised Worker in the racing industry?

Authorised Workers who wish to work outside of their ordinary place of residence and across the state in the racing industry, MUST have had their first vaccination by 15 October 2021, and their second by 26 November 2021.

What does this mean for the Employer in the racing industry?

There are two key elements:

  • Employers CAN NO LONGER lawfully engage an unvaccinated individual to perform Authorised Work anywhere outside of that individuals ordinary place of residence i.e. their home, if that individual has not achieved the required vaccination status by the stated October and November dates
  • Employers MUST also hold vaccination status information on their employee record for every Authorised Worker
  • Can an Authorised Worker be granted a vaccination exemption?

    There are two reasons, both medically based, as follows:

  • The individual has had, or will have, an acute reaction to the vaccine
  • The individual has an existing acute medical illness which prevents him or her from receiving the vaccine
  • The basis for exemption must be certified by a medical practitioner, and a letter stating this must be held by the individual concerned. There are NO other bases for receiving an exemption.

    Should you wish to provide your feedback in writing in relation to these matters, please do so by clicking here.

    Alternatively, contact the office on (03) 9372 1688 should any one wish to discuss this with myself.

    Kind Regards

    Chief Executive