New Public Health Direction for disability and aged care workers
Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA
Minister for Health
Minister for Families and Community Services
Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs
Member for Kurrajong
Emma Davidson MLA
Minister for Disability
Minister for Justice Health
Minister for Mental Health
Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services
Member for Murrumbidgee
1 November 2021
New Public Health Direction for disability and aged care workers to be signed today
The requirement for disability support workers and in-home and community aged care workers in the ACT to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will take effect in mid-November.
Following significant consultation between the ACT Health Directorate and stakeholders representing the disability and aged care sectors, a new public health direction will be signed today.
The new direction will require impacted workers and volunteers to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination by 15 November and a second dose by 13 December.
Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said that feedback from stakeholders indicated that the originally proposed dates of 1 November and 29 November for the first and second dose requirements would not give employers enough time to ensure they were meeting their obligations.
“Throughout the consultation process, there was strong support for the public health direction from disability service providers and the in-home and community aged care sector. However, there was some further work to do to ensure definitions were clear and appropriate for the ACT,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.
“While the original scope and definitions were based on advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, stakeholders considered that the ACT’s public health direction should be more consistent with the approach taken in NSW.
“This is why we have a consultation process and I am confident that the direction to be signed today will meet the needs of the affected sectors while protecting the community.”
Minister for Disability and Mental Health, Emma Davidson said that consultation with the community and workforce was an essential part of this process.
“The disability community and sector have been constructively working with the ACT Government to ensure the vaccination requirement best supports the needs of people with disability, employers and workers,” Minister Davidson said.
“Throughout these discussions, people have been clear that it’s important we continue to maintain physical distancing and hygiene practices to minimise risk of COVID-19 spread in close contact settings.”
Further information for workers who are required to be vaccinated under a public health direction can be found here: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/stay-safe-and-healthy/vaccine/information-for-employees-that-require-vaccination