Scott Morrison has ruled out making Covid-19 vaccines compulsory in Australia but paved the way for employers to create their own immunisation policy.
The prime minister, speaking after the national cabinet meeting on Friday afternoon, said the country didn’t have a mandatory vaccine policy and that was “not changing”.
However, he said individual businesses and employers could be given several options to stop unvaccinated people from working at or entering their premises.
Mr Morrison said employers could make a “reasonable directive to staff” to get the Covid-19 jab but this would need to comply with discrimination law, by considering whether workers were in “essential occupations” or coming into close contact with people who may be carrying the virus.
“It is not the intention of the Commonwealth or of the states and territories to create any special laws in these areas,” he said.
He said the only industries in which the government had intervened to date had been in quarantine and aged care, whose workers are subject to unique public health orders requiring them to get vaccinated.
More to come.