Stood down over vaccine refusal? Why it’s not discrimination


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A person who conscientiously objects to a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine and loses their job as a result has no grounds to claim discrimination under the state’s Anti-Discrimination Act. However, Tasmanian Equal Opportunity Commissioner Sarah Bolt has said a person who cannot receive a vaccine due to a disability or their age might be able to claim indirect discrimination if they were barred from their workplace or lost their job. The Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on grounds such as race, age, gender and disability. READ MORE: Major earthquake rattles parts of Tasmania Ms Bolt said indirect discrimination takes place when a person is subject to a requirement that is unreasonable in the circumstances or has the effect of disadvantaging them more than others on the basis of an attribute. She said if an employer required mandated vaccinations for people working in industries like aged and health care, it would be unlikely to fall foul of the Anti-Discrimination Act on the basis the employer was complying with the law. Ms Bolt said the Australian Human Rights Commission has provided examples of some of the circumstances that might be taken into account to determine whether an action was discriminatory. READ MORE: Cracker Night up in the air with explosives ban review These included: The commission has said any alternative methods that might satisfy the objective of a vaccination – such as testing regimes, remote work, physical distancing or personal protective equipment – might be considered to determine whether an action was discriminatory. What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor:


September 22 2021 – 3:00PM

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Read More:Stood down over vaccine refusal? Why it’s not discrimination