CSIRO has joined a growing number of Australian employers by announcing a national, mandatory Covid vaccination policy, due to take effect in the new year.
Chief Executive Larry Marshall revealed the new requirement in an email to staff, citing CSIRO’s track record supporting vaccination throughout the coronavirus pandemic and the need to set an example to the wider community.
“We have always been a strong public advocate for vaccination, providing trusted advice to the community that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, helping ensure they are embraced by the public, so they ultimately save lives. Now, we have a responsibility to lead the way ourselves,” Dr Marshall said.
Staff Association Acting Secretary Susan Tonks said the decision to mandate COVID-19 immunisation at CSIRO didn’t come as a surprise.
“CSIRO’s shift to a national vaccination mandate comes after the announcement of similar arrangements for Victorian-based staff and following discussions between the Situation Management Team (SMT) and Staff Association representatives.”
The CSIRO push for a vax mandate follows similar moves by other large employers including Qantas, Woolworths, CSL, Telstra and the ABC.
“As an employer, CSIRO has obligations under Work Health and Safety legislation to provide a safe workplace and to eliminate or minimise risks where possible, including taking steps to minimise the transmission of the virus which causes COVID-19,” Dr Marshall said.
“The CSIRO Staff Association supports vaccination for protection against COVID-19. Vaccines currently approved for use in Australia are safe, effective and are being deployed in accordance with expert health advice,” Ms Tonks said.
“We’ve consistently maintained that the decision to pursue vaccination mandates may be appropriate, based on public health advice and genuine consultation.”
“CSIRO employees should continue to be encouraged – including through the provision of paid time and leave – to access vaccinations.”
Any Staff Association members that require individual assistance regarding the implementation of the policy are encouraged to email the union in the first instance.
CSIRO staff seeking general advice regarding site specific Covid-safe plans are encouraged to contact their local Health and Safety Representative (HSR) or Staff Association delegate.
For more information and COVID-19 resources, visit our information page.