NSW hospitality businesses need more clarity on vaccine mandate to ease ‘uncertainty' around reopening, a legal expert says

© Provided by Business Insider Australia

  • NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was pushed to clarify requirements for businesses in enforcing rules around mandatory vaccination this week.
  • The premier said the mandate for employees and patrons at public-facing businesses would be “a health order and the law”, however a legal expert says businesses need clear guidelines to ease growing nervousness around mandates.
  • Businesses were already contacting her firm with questions around their responsibilities while planning to reopen, said Amy Zhang, executive counsel at Harmers Workplace Lawyers.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

While NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian hedged on how the state would manage a vaccination mandate for hospitality businesses, a legal expert says clear guidelines are crucial to stave off “business uncertainty” around reopening. 

Berejiklian was pushed this week to explain whether the NSW government had obtained advice both on the legality of mandating vaccinations and on the requirement for businesses to enforce any rules.

Businesses are navigating a legal framework that “wasn’t designed for dealing with a pandemic”, Amy Zhang, executive counsel at Harmers Workplace Lawyers, told Business Insider Australia. 

The government needs to provide clarity quickly on what policing a vaccination mandate for public-facing businesses looks like, Zhang said. 

As part of the “roadmap to freedom” presented by the state government on Thursday 9 September, hospitality businesses including pubs, restaurants and cafes, as well as retail settings, entertainment venues and health and beauty services, will be able to reopen after the 70% double dose vaccination target is achieved.

For the businesses allowed to reopen, all staff and patrons must be fully vaccinated as a condition of operation, in addition to following density limits.

On Wednesday, the NSW premier reaffirmed her commitment to the double-dose vaccination requirement in the government’s reopening roadmap.

“At 70%, if you’re not vaccinated, it will be a health order and the law that if you’re not vaccinated, you can’t attend venues on the roadmap,” the premier said at Wednesday’s press conference.

“You can’t go into a hospitality venue. You can’t go to ticketed events unless you are vaccinated. We made that very clear.”

Berejiklian was also pushed to clarify whether the NSW government had received advice on the legality of mandating vaccinations and on the requirement for businesses to enforce any rules.

The premier said the government would “need to seek legal advice”, saying it was in “uncharted territory”.


Video: Enforcing proof of vaccination a ‘government problem’ (Sky News Australia)

“We receive advice from a myriad of sources every step of the way and what people choose to do individually is on them in terms of legal issues, but I will say this – our job is to provide certainty and safety to the community but also to see both patrons enjoying their freedom,” she said.

Zhang said that businesses were already contacting the firm with questions around their responsibilities while planning to reopen. 

“At the moment, there’s not a lot of detail from the government as to how that’s all going to work, and what exactly will be required of businesses,” Zhang said. 

“The current legal framework [in NSW] is a bit of a patchwork quilt of various legal frameworks,” she said, with anti-discrimination law, contract law, employment law, and work and safety legislation all separate but “interact[ing] in some way”, she said. 

As a result, Zhang said, “It’s just very, very murky at the moment as to what exactly is the legal position depending on the particular business’s situation.” 

The legal landscape is less complicated in NSW because the state does not have a Human Rights Act. In states and territories that do, such as Victoria, the ACT and Queensland, legislators would have to consider the human rights implications of any rules which limited access to places on the basis of vaccine status.

Zhang said the premier’s commitment to a public health order on Wednesday meant that businesses had a clear directive to comply with, and that noncompliant businesses would face “additional legal exposures like investigations and prosecutions by workplace safety regulators”.

“There might be workers compensation and negligence claims, and potentially class actions if employees or patrons contract COVID while they’re at one of these particular venues on premises,” she said. 

However, Zhang said the premier urgently needed to offer businesses defined guidelines around the public health order so they could confidently move forward with reopening. 

“It’s very important for there to be clarity for businesses and employers, because at the moment, they’re trying to navigate these murky legal issues. And it can be very difficult for small businesses, particularly to pay money to get legal advice and still have that uncertainty.”

As a lack of clarity from the NSW government collides with a backlash among some to mandate measures, social media groups populated by small businesses are emerging.

An Australian Facebook group for businesses who plan to accept both vaccinated and unvaccinated patrons, which formed just under a month ago, has ballooned to almost 160,000 members.

Ashik Ahmed, co-founder and chief executive of Deputy, a shift-work app used by several major hospitality groups, told Business Insider Australia that from his perspective within the hospitality industry, a rule that ensured the majority of people would feel safe dining out again was the best course of action for the industry. 

“The only way for the hospitality industry to survive the pandemic is if we step up and get vaccinated,” Ahmed said. 

While there was a sense of nervousness among some businesses around managing the mandate, he said, “This will need to change for the hospitality industry to survive the impacts of the pandemic.” 

Ahmed said the businesses he worked with were supportive of measures that required employees to be vaccinated, but added that the state government needed to explain how this should be managed by individual companies. 

“Business owners in the hospitality industry are often part of a wider community and owe it to them in this time to step up and ensure their employees are vaccinated,” he said. 

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

U.S. Treasury's Yellen raised 'issues of concern' with Chinese Vice Premier Liu - statement

© Reuters/POOL Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen attends the House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen “frankly raised issues of concern” in a ... Read more »

Cambodia amends charter to bar dual citizens from top office

Cambodia Politics (Cambodia‘s National Assembly) Lawmakers in Cambodia on Monday approved an amendment to the constitution barring Cambodians with dual citizenship from holding high government office, a move initiated by ... Read more »

Japan's Princess Mako marries non-royal boyfriend in subdued ceremony

Japan’s Princess Mako has married her non-royal college sweetheart Kei Komuro in a subdued ceremony, formally marking her departure from the royal family. © Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images TOKYO, JAPAN – ... Read more »

Deadline for Prince Andrew to testify in accuser's lawsuit set by judge

A U.S. District Judge on Monday ruled that Prince Andrew, Duke of York, must make himself available for questioning by July 14 in a civil lawsuit brought against him by ... Read more »

Donald Trump Jr. verspottet Alec Baldwin

Diashow ein «Waffen töten keine Menschen, Alec Baldwin tötet Menschen»: T-Shirt von Donald Trump Jr. Scheint sich an Alec Baldwin zu rächen: Donald Trump Jr. Alec Baldwin nahm den früheren ... Read more »

Netflix reveals teaser for DOTA: Dragon's Blood Book Two

© Provided by Dot Esports DOTA fans have finally got a glimpse of new Dragon’s Blood content courtesy of a teaser trailer shared by Netflix earlier today. Along with new ... Read more »

PODCAST: Epi. 66—Waking the Red Weekly: Jozy Altidore owns Montreal

TORONTO, Canada—Welcome back to another edition of the live Waking the Red Weekly podcast presented by Footy Talks Live! On today’s episode, the crew – Michael Singh, Mitchell Tierney, and ... Read more »

Poacher trampled to death by elephant in South African national park

A suspected poacher was trampled to death by an elephant at Kruger National Park in South Africa. Getty Images/iStockphoto A suspected poacher is believed to have been trampled to death ... Read more »

What Ranveer Singh wrote on Kunal Kemmu's 'self appreciation' pics is too EPIC to miss

Actor Ranveer Singh is among the stars in Bollywood who are known for their love for fitness. The 83 star often is seen sweating it out at the gym and ... Read more »

Manju Rani, Jamuna Boro Make Semis of Elite Women's National Boxing Championships

© Provided by News18 Extending her brilliant winning run in the tournament, Railway Sports Promotion Board’s (RSPB) boxer Manju Rani entered the 48kg semi-finals with a decisive 5-0 win over ... Read more »

Who are the youngest and oldest men to score a triple-century in Tests?

© BCCI Kolkata Knight Riders’ win against Delhi Capitals despite four ducks was the second instance of a team winning from such a position in the IPL © BCCI If ... Read more »

Exclusive: Virat Kohli congratulating Babar and Rizwan was biggest moment for me, says Shoaib Akhtar

© Provided by Zee News For the cricketer in me, the biggest moment was when Babar Azam hit those winning runs against Mohammad Shami. But for the human in me, ... Read more »

T20 World Cup: What went wrong for India against Pakistan

© Provided by The Times of India TOI looks at what went wrong for India against Pakistan and the issues facing the team ahead of their upcoming games… Some would ... Read more »

'Not a good time' for improving ties: Imran Khan takes a dig at India after Pakistan's historic T20 WC win

© Provided by Zee News Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday highlighted the need for improving ties with India, but cheekily said that after his country’s victory against ... Read more »

BTS ARMY, are you Taekook, VMin, SOPE or Namjin shipper? Vote now!

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com Hola ARMY, we know you’d still be reeling from the after-effects of the Permission To Dance on Stage online concert that was held recently. There were ... Read more »

Tesla market cap hits $1 trillion after massive Hertz order

Rental car giant Hertz announced it was buying 100,000 Tesla electric vehicles that will be available to customers starting next month. Tesla stock soared on news of the massive order, ... Read more »

Chicago is ‘rat capital' for 7th straight year, New York finishes 3rd

The Bulls had a good run, but the rats are unstoppable. © Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS Chicago has been rated No. 1 on Orkin’ s Top 50 Rattiest Cities List for the seventh ... Read more »

5 Ways Retirees Can Lower Their Income Taxes

Retirement is the time to enjoy the fruits of many years of laboring away at a job. © Anton Mukhin / Shutterstock.com However, if you aren’t careful, Uncle Sam can ... Read more »

10 Best Places to Go in December

© Photo by Tinapat B/Shutterstock 10 Best Places to Go in December Photo by Tinapat B/Shutterstock Make those last PTO days count this December. If you feel like you deserve ... Read more »

Marjorie Taylor Greene Tweetstorm Accuses AOC of Participating in Costly 'Civil War'

Republican Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has accused Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of participating in a costly “civil war.” © Drew Angerer/Getty Republican Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene ... Read more »

Woodward and Costa report Trump called Willard hotel 'war room' on eve of Capitol riot

Former President Donald Trump reportedly called into a “war room” at the Willard hotel in Washington, D.C., on the eve of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. © Provided by ... Read more »

Seek algorithmic accountability from Facebook: Experts to govt

Privacy experts and civil society are calling on the Indian government to seek more algorithmic accountability from Facebook in light of the recent revelations around how the social media giant’s ... Read more »

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs law restricting transgender students in school sports

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill Monday banning transgender athletes from playing on public school sports teams that align with their gender identities. © Provided by NBC News The ... Read more »

Virginia's governor's race remains close

In what could be a referendum on President Biden’s agenda and popularity, Virginians are headed to the polls next week to elect a new governor.  © Steve Helber / AP ... Read more »

Producer: ‘Rust' Assistant Director Fired From Previous Film Following Prop Gun Discharge

The set of the movie An assistant director who is cited in a search warrant as having unknowingly given actor Alec Baldwin a loaded prop gun before a fatal shooting ... Read more »

Jan. 6 committee: Biden White House rejects more executive privilege claims by Trump

President Joe Biden has once again refused to assert executive privilege over more documents that former President Donald Trump has sought to keep out of the hands of the committee ... Read more »

More cops to be deployed as Manila dolomite beach attracts 65,000 visitors

© Danny Pata Kids check the water at the dolomite beach area along Roxas Boulevard in Manila on Sunday, October 24, 2021, amid the government’s warning that the water in ... Read more »

Stocks in the news: Bajaj Finance, SRF, Tech Mahindra, CEAT and Indus Towers

Nifty futures on the Singapore Exchange traded merely 23 points, or 0.13 per cent higher at 18,221, signaling that Dalal Street was headed for a positive start on Tuesday. Here ... Read more »

2 Santa Maria men arrested after alleged catalytic converter theft, guns found in vehicle

Oct. 25—Two Santa Maria men were arrested and accused of gun and theft-related charges Thursday after a Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputy located a stolen catalytic converter and several firearms ... Read more »

One person shot and wounded in Belton on Monday evening, police say

One person was shot and wounded Monday evening in Belton, according to police. Officers were called around 5:15 p.m. to the 100 block of East Hargis Street on a reported ... Read more »

Donald Trump Jr. sells T-shirts mocking Alec Baldwin ‘Rust' movie set shooting tragedy

Donald Trump Jr. is taking aim at a longtime family foe — he’s hawking a T-shirt that uses a tragic movie set shooting to mock Alec Baldwin, who famously skewered ... Read more »

Ecuador sailing ship captures a narco sub

Consider it a win for 18th century technology over late 20th century criminal innovation. © Ecuadorian Navy A drug smuggling vessel is inspected alongside the Ecuadorian naval training ship Guayas ... Read more »

Brendan Fraser Cast As Villain In Upcoming Batgirl Movie

© Provided by Geek Culture Brendan Fraser (The Mummy, George of the Jungle) is starring as a villain in HBO Max/DC’s upcoming Batgirl movie, with Leslie Grace (In the Heights) ... Read more »

‘Murder will definitely happen soon.' Warrant details how 3 teens kill Miramar student

Three teenagers plotted out the gruesome murder of an 18-year-old Miramar High School senior before carrying out a 31-minute attack that ended with a “large” sword being plunged into his ... Read more »

Japan's Princess Mako finally marries university sweetheart Kei Komuro

Princess Mako leaves her home and heads for the ceremony – REUTERS Japan's Princess Mako married her university sweetheart Kei Komuro on Tuesday, the Imperial household said, but proceedings were ... Read more »

Asia stocks catch Wall St cheer but China caps gains

By Kane Wu © Reuters/ISSEI KATO A man walks past in front of a stock quotation board showing the price of the SoftBank Corp. and Nikkei share average outside a ... Read more »

NY Gov. Hochul follows through on post-Cuomo promises to address harassment in state offices

ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy Hochul says she’s making good on her promise to turn the page from the Cuomo era and root out harassment and discrimination in state government. ... Read more »

Myths, marriages and Mako: Japan's imperial family

Japan’s Princess Mako married her sweetheart Kei Komuro on Tuesday forgoing traditional rites following years of controversy. © Kazuhiro NOGI Japan’s Princess Mako (R) is the niece of Emperor Naruhito ... Read more »

PRN Melaka bakal cetus lonjakan baharu kes Covid-19, kata badan pemikir

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Perhimpunan pilihan raya akan tetap diteruskan walaupun setelah amaran dikeluarkan, dan SOP akan ‘dipatuhi secara terpilih atau diabaikan sama sekali’, kata Azrul Mohd Khalib. ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic