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Mandatory vaccination requirements

Western Australia has recently introduced vaccination requirements across a number of industries, including building and construction.

HIA has compiled a list of FAQs to assist builders in meeting and navigating these obligations. 

When do the vaccination requirements come into effect?

Workers in the building and construction industry are required to have received:

  • their first dose of the vaccine by 31st December 2021
  • and a second dose by 31st January 2022; and
  • their booster by the later of either:
    • one month from becoming eligible; or
    • by 5 February 2022.

Workers are eligible to receive their booster 3 months after their second dose.  If you are not sure when you became eligible for your booster, a quick calculator is available on the Roll up for WA website.

Who needs to be vaccinated?

Anyone entering a building site for work purposes.

Who is a classified as a building and construction worker?

  • site supervisors and forepersons;
  • tradespersons and labourers;
  • suppliers and installers;
  • apprentices, trainees and those on formal work experience placements;
  • hire company workers, such a port-a-loo service people;
  • architects, draftspersons and other design consultants;
  • project managers and development executives; and
  • food vendors.

Who is responsible for ensuring those entering a site comply with the mandatory vaccination requirements?

The builder or the person in charge of the site is responsible for making sure all workers on site are vaccinated. This includes all employees, trades and subcontractors.

How do I ensure that contractors who enter the site comply with the mandatory vaccination requirements? 

In order to ensure that only contractors who meet the mandatory vaccination requirements are permitted onsite a builder or person in charge of the site can put in place a majority of the following:

  • Place a sign at the entry point to the workplace stating that, by entering the building and construction site, the building and construction worker is confirming that they are vaccinated, or an exemption applies. 
  • Include a declaration as a part of a site check-in process that states the building and construction worker has complied with the mandatory vaccination requirements.
    HIA’s COVID-19 site induction QR code includes a declaration that the worker meets the state mandatory vaccination requirements.
  • Include a clause in agreements, work orders or purchase orders, detailing that by agreeing to provide the goods or services the contractor or supplier declares that their employees and contractors who will attend the building and construction site are vaccinated, or an exemption applies. 
  • Provide a letter to the contractor to ensure that as a contractor they:
    • are aware of the mandatory vaccination requirements;
    • have met their obligations to collect and maintain a record of the vaccination status of their direct employees;
    • are not to roster on or permit any of their employees onto the building and construction site who are not compliant with the mandatory vaccination requirements; and
    • must ensure that any of their subcontractors are similarly informed of their obligations. 

What would be considered reasonable in one set of circumstances would not necessarily be the same as others. For example, a different approach may apply to those that attend a building site on a regular basis as opposed to those that attend sporadically, such as delivery drivers or food vendors.

A builder or person in charge of the workplace will not be required to sight or retain a copy of a contractor’s vaccination certificate.

How do I ensure that employees who enter the site comply with the mandatory vaccination requirements? 

Employers will be responsible for collecting and securely storing proof of vaccination or exemption from their employees.  The approved forms of proof include:

  • an Australian Government COVID-19 vaccination certificate or an Immunisation Statement recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register; or
  • written confirmation issued by the WA Department of Health of the COVID-19 vaccination received by them; or
  • an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate issued by the Commonwealth Government; or
  • an exemption issued by the Chief Health Officer.

How do I prove I am vaccinated?

If requested by an emergency officer or nominated officer, a worker must provide evidence of their vaccination status or exemption in the above-listed forms.

This information does not need to be produced immediately, but should be provided as soon as practicable after the request is made.

Does this also apply to delivery drivers?

It depends on whether the delivery driver is entering the building site. If they are entering the building site as a part of their work duties, they would be required to be vaccinated. 

Does the vaccination requirement apply to factory and warehouse workers?

Currently the vaccination requirements do not apply to people working in critical factories, manufacturing, and production and distribution. While these areas operate in support of the building and construction industry they aren’t currently captured by the requirements. 

If factory, manufacturing, and production and distribution workers attend a building site for the purpose of work (installation of a product supplied) they will be captured by the vaccination requirements and will need to comply with the vaccination requirements to attend site.

What do I do if I have an employee/subbie who won’t get vaccinated?

The worker will not be permitted to attend the worksite unless they have met the vaccination requirements. The builder must not schedule/roster the worker to work to or permit them to attend the worksite. 

How can a builder deal with a licensed trade (e.g. plumber or electrician) who has commenced the work, doesn’t want to be vaccinated and can’t complete the work prior to the vaccination deadline?

This is a very difficult situation to navigate. HIA acknowledges the challenges with having a new contractor take over partially completed work, however the law will require a builder to prevent anyone who is unvaccinated from working on their building site. The builder may have recourse against the trade under their trade agreement where they incur additional cost because of the trade’s non-performance.

Are Display Home and Selection Centre staff required to be vaccinated?

No.  Staff working in display homes and selection centres are not currently captured in the government’s mandatory vaccination groups.

Who is not required to be vaccinated?

  • people working on a home renovation site in which a person is residing;
  • people carrying out work that does not require a building permit or demolition permit;
  • offsite construction industry office staff who do not work on construction sites; and
  • home owners and other visitors to the site who are not carrying out work.

Are there any exceptions to the vaccine mandate?

Yes. Medical and temporary exemptions can be granted in limited circumstances. If you believe you are eligible for an exemption, you should contact your medical provider or apply to the Chief Health Officer by emailing COVIDVaccinationExemption@health.wa.gov.au.

Further information

The following HIA infosheets may be useful:

The information from the WA Government is available via the following links:

To find out more, contact HIA's Workplace Services team

Email us

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