Earlier this year, Reverend the Honourable Fred Nile proposed the Public Health Amendment (Vaccination Compensation) Bill 2021 to the House. The Bill proposed to address the issue and impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on the economy and society.

With respect to the Honourable Member, the proposed Bill is draconian and counterproductive. If passed by Parliament it will surely be dissuasive for employers to maintain levels of staff and engagement of contractors.

This possible consequence in our current economic environment is more likely harmful, than the assumed intention behind the proposed Bill. On the face of it, the Bill appears to be manifestly inconsistent with the current Workers Compensation Legislation as well as potentially exposing employers to a situation where their own insurance policies are unlikely to provide and indemnity for what is proposed by the Bill.

The key proposed amendment which may be of most concern is “(3) The relevant body continues to be liable to pay compensation to the worker until the worker’s death, even if the worker ceases to be employed or otherwise engaged by the relevant body.

A relevant body is defined as “relevant body, in relation to a worker, means the person or body that employs or otherwise engages the worker”.

The proposed application of this Bill is:

(1) This section applies if a relevant body requires a worker to be vaccinated against a disease prescribed by the regulations.”.

The proposed bill appears to fly in the face of current State and Commonwealth Government policies.

If you have any questions regarding the above or any other COVID-19 related matters, please contact Ziv Ben-Arie on 0415 933 993 or at zivbenarie@hbal.com.au.

Copies of the second and first Hansard can be found on the below links.

Legislative Council Hansard – 17 February 2021 (nsw.gov.au)

Legislative Council Hansard – 17 February 2021 (nsw.gov.au)

A copy of the proposed Bill can be found on the below link.

Public Health Amendment (Vaccination Compensation) Bill 2021 (nsw.gov.au)

Authors: Ziv Ben-Arie (Managing Principal), Rishon Cross (Paralegal)