Western Australia announces mandatory vaccination policy

October 29, 2021
FCB Workplace Law

On 20 October 2021, the Western Australian Government announced that a mandatory vaccination policy for most occupations and workforces in the state will be introduced in a phased approach.

The policy follows the existing mandates in place for workers in high-risk industries, including those interacting with people at an increased risk of being infected with COVID-19, or people who are vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19.

The phased approach outlines mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for expanded industries in Western Australia, as well as a requirement for all critical workers to be vaccinated in the event of a lockdown or similar restrictions in order to attend work.

What are the ‘groups’ under the phased approach?

There are three main groups under the phased approach. These are:

Group 1:

  • industries that are determined to have high transmission risk or vulnerability risk, or are necessary or critical to avoid catastrophic risk to the safety of the community.

Group 2:

  • industries and workforces that are deemed critical to the ongoing delivery of business and the function of the community.

Group 3:

  • those who must be fully vaccinated to attend work during a lockdown or similar restrictions. In the event of a lockdown, these workers will not be permitted to leave their home to attend work unless they are fully vaccinated.

Who is in Group 1 and what are the requirements?

Group 1 industries and occupations include:

Industry Vaccination Requirements
Hotel quarantine workers ·       Fully vaccinated by 10 May 2021
Port workers – exposed workers only ·       First dose by 15 October 2021

·       Fully vaccinated by 12 November 2021

Residential aged care workers ·       First dose by 22 September 2021

·       Fully vaccinated by 17 November 2021

Healthcare and health support workers in public and private hospitals and public healthcare facilities

·       These facilities include highest risk units, wards, departments in hospitals, COVID testing and community vaccination clinics

·       First dose by 1 October 2021

·       Fully vaccinated by 1 November 2021

Police staff working in mission critical areas ·       First dose by 27 September 2021

·       Fully vaccinated by 27 October 2021

Cross-border freight (road and rail) workers – high and extreme risk locations only ·       First dose by 24 October 2021

·       Fully vaccinated by 24 December 2021

Healthcare and health support workers at Tier 2 facilities:

·       These facilities include hospitals, day hospitals and ancillary facilities within hospitals

·       First dose by 1 November 2021

·       Fully vaccinated by 1 December 2021

Healthcare and health support workers at Tier 3 facilities

·       These facilities include private health care facilities, premises occupied by Department of Health, health service providers

·       First dose by 1 December 2021

·       Fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022

Primary and community health workers, including GPs, private nurses, pharmacies, dental centres, allied health, and private pathology ·       First dose by 1 November and

·       Fully vaccinated by 1 December 2021

FIFO, onsite regional, mission critical mining/resource sector ·       First dose by 1 December 2021

·       Fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022

All of the following:

·       Border and air transport

·       Staff working in or entering remote Aboriginal communities

·       Residential and non-residential community care services including in relation to:

o   Disability

o   Mental health

o   Homelessness

o   Drug and alcohol services

o   Family and domestic violence

o   Child protection

o   Aboriginal peoples

·       Corrections

·       WA Police not already mandated

·       Fire and Emergency Services (excluding volunteers)

·       Abattoirs and meat processing

·       First dose: 1 December 2021

·       Fully vaccinated by 31 December 2021


Some of the above industries may also have specific vaccination-related Public Health Directions in place, including for primary healthcare facility workers, exposed port workers and residential aged care workers. We recommend you seek advice on your specific circumstances.

Who is in Group 2 and what are the requirements?

Group 2 includes specific cohorts of critical workers working in the following premises/locations or roles:

  • Supermarket, grocery, butcher, fruit and vegetable store or fishmonger; indoor or outdoor food market
  • Restaurant, pub, bar or café
  • Bakery
  • Post office
  • Hardware store
  • Child care or family day care provider
  • School or boarding school (teachers and other support staff)*
  • TAFEs and colleges of vocational education
  • Financial institution
  • Critical infrastructure and services necessary for the health, safety or welfare of the community, any person, animal or premises
    • Veterinary clinic
    • Utilities – power, gas and water, public and private
    • Security provided to critical providers/workplaces only
    • Government regulators
    • Domestic and commercial waste and resource recovery
  • Petrol station, truck stops and roadhouses
  • Public transport
  • Commercial transport including taxis, rideshare and other passenger services
  • Remaining Port operations
  • Remaining commercial transport, freight or logistics
  • Hotel, motel or other accommodation facility to provide accommodation services
  • Funerary or mortuary services
  • Building, maintenance or construction services.

Workers falling into Group 2 will need to have a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination by 31 December 2021 and be fully vaccinated by 31 January 2022 in order to attend work.

All school staff will need to be fully vaccinated prior to the start of Term 1, which may be prior to 31 January 2022.

We note that at present, there are no specific public health orders in place for Group 2 workers.

Who is in Group 3 and what are the requirements?

Group 3 includes workers who will be required to be vaccinated to attend work in the event of a lockdown or similar restrictions. These include those working in the following premises or roles:

  • Click and collect retail not otherwise in groups 1 or 2
  • Bottleshop or liquor store
  • Newsagent
  • Pet store
  • Wholesaler
  • Conveyancing settlement agents (time critical legal matters)
  • Government or local government services if working from home is not possible
  • Roadside assistance
  • Vehicle and mechanical repair services
  • Journalist and media services
  • Administrative services provided by an employer to enable its employees to work from home
  • Forestry (for critical reasons)
  • Primary industries (necessary to provide food to, and care of animals and maintenance of crops)
  • Factories, manufacturing, production, distribution etc
    • Factory or similar facility that is not able to shut down without causing damage or loss
    • Production and distribution of food and groceries, liquor, medical and pharmaceutical products
    • Commercial operations that supply goods or services for the implementation of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19; necessary to support any critical business activities, or to support the export of goods and services from WA
    • Manufacturing, fabrication or assembly of goods and materials necessary or related to defence or security industries.
  • Members and staff of Members of Parliament of Western Australia.

We note that at present, it does not appear a specific public health order is in place for Group 3 workers.

Next steps

The following steps are recommended for businesses which fall into one of the above categories:

  • Familiarise yourselves with the vaccination requirements;
  • Consult and discuss with staff about the vaccination requirements;
  • Check (and continue to monitor) any applicable Public Health Order for additional requirements and take steps to ensure compliance; and

Please note this article applies only to the businesses listed above that are located in Western Australia and should not be relied on in any other state of Australia. The information in this article is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change.

If this information has raised any questions or concerns, please contact the team at FCB – we’re always here to support you.