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June 2022 Issue
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DOC drops vaccine mandate for staff

Unvaccinated DOC staff are being welcomed back following the department’s decision to suspend its vaccine mandate.

The staff vaccination policy was signed off in December 2021 and required DOC workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19. It has been on ice since May 4 this year.

Although no permanent staff members were dismissed as a result of the mandate, about 70 unvaccinated employees were working from home or were on paid leave, DOC health and safety director Harry Maher said.

DOC has about 3500 staff. Maher said the majority supported the proposal to suspend the vaccination policy.

The decision to shelve the policy was made after a health and safety assessment “determined the Covid-19 risk profile has changed sufficiently, particularly with high vaccination rates and the increased presence of Omicron in the community”, he said.

Vaccine pass requirements for DOC accommodation and visitor centres were dropped in April.