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Vaccination Policy

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, DCJ has developed a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy outlining DCJ’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. The policy presents information on the approach taken to identify locations and worksites that require vaccination to provide a COVID safe work environment for employees and clients.

Vaccination Register

The DCJ vaccination policy requires all staff to provide their vaccination status and evidence of vaccination to support DCJ in providing a safe workplace for all staff and service users.

The DCJ Vaccination Register makes this an easy online process and is accessible via the Service Now portals for FACS and Justice.

Please note, if your evidence is related to a medical contraindication, do not upload the evidence to the register, instead only complete the status section of the vaccination register then provide your medical contraindication evidence to your Supervisor, one up Manager or your People Business Partner for review. Exceptional Circumstance forms must be submitted directly to your Supervisor, one up Manager or your People Business Partner and not via the Vaccination Register.

The Vaccination Register has now been updated to enable staff to submit their COVID-19 Booster Vaccination details.

If you have received a booster vaccination and would like to update your status this is now enabled in the vaccination register, you will need to provide evidence of your booster shot in order to finalise this record. Step by step instructions are provided in in the guide below.

If you have any questions about this process, please reach out to your Manager/Supervisor.

For more information on this see the DCJ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Employee Fact Sheet.

Key dates

  • Dose 1 by 25 October 2021 if you work in, or have to go to, frontline workplaces. This includes Correctional Centres, Community Corrections offices, Youth Justice settings, Courts, or child protection, housing or homelessness offices.
  • Dose 1 by 1 December 2021 if you work in any other DCJ locations, such as corporate or policy offices, or work from home.
    • Note: If this is your main work location, but you sometimes go to a frontline office, then the earlier date applies.
  • Dose 2 by 17 January 2022 for all DCJ staff.

User guides for the Vaccination Register

Walk through video guide on how to access the register including via a computer:

Walk through video guide on how to access the register including via a mobile phone:

Walk through video guide on how to add booster shot information to the register:

The NSW Government proof of COVID-19 vaccination page provides guidance on how you can obtain your vaccination certificate, which you can upload to the Vaccination Register.

FAQ

More FAQ are available in DCJ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Employee Fact Sheet and COVID-19 Leave arrangements - Fact Sheet. This factsheet, along with other useful information resources can be found in the Resources section on this page.

Do I need to register that I’ve had my vaccination?

Yes, all staff are required to provide their vaccination status via the Vaccination Register. This is accessible via the Service Now portals for FACS and Justice.

If you’re unsure how to obtain proof of your vaccination, the NSW Government proof of COVID-19 vaccination page outlines how to obtain this and for further guidance the Getting a COVID-19 vaccination record factsheet provides a step by step guide on how to access this and link it to apps on your mobile phone.

What information do I need to provide DCJ about my vaccination status?

Employees will need to provide DCJ with their vaccination status and evidence of their first and second doses of a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccination. A vaccination status includes one of the following:

  • One dose of a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccine
  • Two doses of a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccine

Note: In the future this may also be required for COVID-19 additional/booster vaccinations.

Vaccination status must be supported by evidence. The following are accepted forms of evidence:

Note: If your evidence is a medical contraindication, medical clearance notice or medical exemption due to exceptional circumstances, do not upload these to the register. Instead complete the status section of the register only and submit this evidence your Supervisor/Manager or one-up Manager, who will review and seek advice from People Business Partners. Alternatively, you can submit this information directly to your People Business Partner.

Can employees submit records of their COVID-19 Booster Vaccination?

Yes, if employees have received a booster vaccination and would like to update their status in the vaccination register, they can by submitting a new record in the vaccination register. In addition to submitting their status, employees will need to provide evidence of their booster shot to complete the process. Step by step instructions, including a walk through video guide, are located in the Vaccination Register section of this page

I haven’t had my vaccine yet. What do I do?

All DCJ staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes if you work from home.

If you are not vaccinated, you will be required to access your paid leave entitlements (recreation leave or extended leave) or leave without pay until you have had at least 1 COVID-19 vaccine. Sick leave and COVID Special leave will not be available.

Alternatively, you may be eligible for medical contraindication or clearance or medical exemption due to exceptional circumstances. For more information on this see the DCJ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Employee Fact Sheet.

More information about vaccinations is available in the resources section of Getting Vaccinated.

How do I book a vaccination appointment?

Read more and book your appointment now.

Once you have received your vaccination upload your certificate to the Vaccination Register.

I can’t get a vaccination for a medical reason. What do I do?

Some employees may seek an exemption if they have a medical contraindication or clearance. Medical contraindications may be temporary or ongoing dependent on individual circumstances. Each case will be individually considered noting the medical condition, the working arrangements, and the type of work, the risk to others in the workplace, the availability of alternative work or anything else that is relevant.

To obtain evidence of a medical contraindication, you must visit a medical practitioner who will prepare and submit an Australian Immunisation Record – Immunisation Medical exemption form (IM011) to Medicare on your behalf. Medicare will then provide access to evidence you can provide to confirm your Medical Contraindication.

For more information on this see the DCJ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Employee Fact Sheet.

I’ve already had COVID-19 do I still need to get vaccinated?

People who have contracted COVID-19 and who have been medically cleared are considered to be fully vaccinated.

According to the current Public Health Orders, with a medical clearance you are considered to be fully vaccinated for 6 weeks. Information on how soon you should get vaccinated post infection is available in the FAQ section of NSW Government page Testing positive to COVID-19 and managing COVID-19 safely at home.

During this time DCJ will consider you as being compliant with the DCJ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and can continue normal work duties associated with your role.

You must submit your medical clearance notice issued by a medical practitioner or registered nurse to your Manager/Supervisor or one up Manager/Supervisor.

Alternatively you can submit this directly to your People Business Partner.

For more information on this see the DCJ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Employee Fact Sheet.

How do I submit my medical contraindication evidence?

Advise DCJ of your medical contraindication status via the Vaccination Register by completing the status section on the register. Do not upload this evidence to the register, instead provide it to your Manager/Supervisor or one up Manager/Supervisor for review.

Alternatively, you can submit this information to your People Business Partner who will validate the submission and explore further requirements with your Manager/Supervisor, whilst maintaining the confidentiality of your submission.

For more information on this see the DCJ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Employee Fact Sheet.

Instructions on how to update your status are provided in the Vaccination Register Guidelines.

What will happen to employees who have a medical contraindication?

This will vary depending on if the medical contraindication is temporary or ongoing. Each case will be individually considered noting the medical condition, the working arrangements, and the type of work, the risk to others in the workplace, the availability of alternative work or anything else that is relevant.

Managers/Supervisors will discuss the options with employees once they have reviewed and accepted the medical contraindication form.

For more information on this see the DCJ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Employee Fact Sheet.

I work some days from home, do I still need to be vaccinated?

Yes, for the safety of DCJ employees and the communities we serve, all DCJ staff are required to be vaccinated by the key dates outlined in the Vaccination Register section of this page. The risks of COVID-19 transmission have presented the need to put comprehensive vaccination requirements in place so as to:

Yes, for the safety of DCJ employees and the communities we serve, all DCJ staff are required to be vaccinated at the earliest opportunity. The risks of COVID-19 have presented the need to have comprehensive vaccination requirements in place to:

  • protect the communities we serve, noting that many are vulnerable
  • protect our employees and their families from potential sources of infection among the communities we serve
  • provide a safe environment for our employees to work together
  • ensure business continuity for our public services.

COVID-19 vaccination reduces risk and the chance of infection with COVID-19 and the number of people who will be considered close or secondary contacts in the event of exposure to a positive case.

When do I need to be vaccinated by?

Dose 1 by 25 October 2021 if you work in, or have to go to, frontline workplaces. This includes Correctional Centres, Community Corrections offices, Youth Justice settings, Courts, or child protection, housing or homelessness offices.

Dose 1 by 1 December 2021 if you work in any other DCJ locations, such as corporate or policy offices, or work from home. If this is your main work location, but you sometimes go to a frontline office, then the earlier date applies.

  • Note: If this is your main work location, but you sometimes go to a frontline office, then the earlier date applies.

Dose 2 by 17 January 2022 for all DCJ staff.

Register your vaccination status and provide your vaccination evidence as soon as you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. For guidance on how to do this see the Vaccination Register section on this page.

Can I participate in rapid antigen testing instead of getting vaccinated?

No. Some areas within DCJ are undertaking Rapid Antigen Testing however this is not a replacement for getting vaccinated. Rapid Antigen Testing does not protect employees against the serious health impacts of COVID-19.

Two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine provide around 90 per cent protection from hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.

More information about COVID-19 vaccinations is available in the resources section of Getting Vaccinated.

Can I undertake a COVID-19 vaccination in work time?

Yes. To support employees receiving a vaccination, including Booster vaccination, DCJ provides you with:

  • flexible working arrangements to facilitate attendance at vaccination appointments, and/or
  • access to COVID special leave of up to 2 hours per vaccination, or an equivalent payment at base rate of pay.

To apply for this leave speak with your Manager.

Managers will consider reasonable business needs when assessing applications to attend vaccination appointments to ensure frontline service delivery is maintained.

What if I have another reason aside from a medical contraindication for not getting vaccinated?

Under DCJ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, if an employee believes there are exceptional circumstances why they shouldn’t have to be vaccinated, other than a medical contraindication, they can apply to have this considered as an exceptional circumstance. This must be submitted prior to the compliance date.

Once the compliance date for the requirement to be vaccinated has been reached employees will be instructed to take leave immediately pending any decisions.

For more information on this see the DCJ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Employee Fact Sheet.

How do employees apply to have an exceptional circumstance considered?

The process to apply for an exceptional circumstance exemption is, the:

  1. employee must complete an Exceptional Circumstances Form and submit it to their Manager/Supervisor or Manager/Supervisor one-up
  2. The submission will be reviewed by a panel led by the People Branch
  3. Relevant Executive will review the panel recommendations for approval.

For more information on this see the DCJ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Employee Fact Sheet.

I don’t want to be vaccinated. What does this mean?

If you are choosing not to comply with a requirement to be vaccinated and you do not have a medical contraindication or exceptional circumstance, alternative arrangements will be implemented and you will be instructed to take leave immediately.

You will need to use accrued recreation leave, extended leave, flex leave if eligible and leave without pay or a combination of these types of leave. Sick leave or COVID Special Leave are not available for this.

You will be required to remain on leave until your Manager/Supervisor contacts you with further instruction.

Failure to comply may be viewed as a breach of the Code of Ethical Conduct and may result in Misconduct action being taken in accordance with Section 69 of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 and the Government Sector Employment (General) Rules 2014 (GSE Rules) Part 8. This could include termination of employment.

For more information on this see the DCJ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Employee Fact Sheet.

If I have an adverse reaction after getting the vaccination what leave do I use?

You can access your paid sick leave entitlements. If your sick leave is exhausted, COVID special sick leave may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

This leave access also applies to the Booster vaccination.

For more information on this see the DCJ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Employee Fact Sheet.

If I have already been vaccinated for COVID can I still access the leave?

No. The application of the leave is not retrospective.

If I have had my first vaccination and need to still have my second vaccination can I access the COVID special leave option?

Yes, you will be able to access the same arrangements as those for someone attending their first appointment.

This leave access also applies to the Booster vaccination.

Once you have received a COVID-19 vaccination remember to register your status and provide your vaccination evidence. For guidance on how to do this see the Vaccination Register section on this page.

I work in a high risk setting, such as Correctional Centres. If I go on holiday overseas, when I re-enter NSW the current PHO prohibits me from entering high risk settings for 7 days. The nature of my work does not allow me to work remotely. Can I take COVID Leave for this 7 day period?

No, COVID Leave is not available for this purpose. If you work in a high risk setting and leave NSW and go overseas you must factor this 7 day restriction into your leave application. Please speak with your Manager when organising your leave so you can work together to ensure service continuity is preserved. You may also seek more information on this via the ER-Internal Team.

For more information on what you need to do when returning from overseas read the NSW Health guidelines for all international arrivals.

How will DCJ use and store my vaccination information?

All government sector agencies must comply with the information protection principles and the health privacy principles under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 in relation to the collection, retention, use and disclosure of vaccination certificates.

The collection of this information is permitted under these acts and helps the department to manage the welfare of our staff.

For more information on this see the DCJ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Employee Fact Sheet.

Resources

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Last updated: 11 Apr 2022