If you would like to speak to one of our friendly and talented advocates to discuss mandates, to get a legal opinion or for Covid related issues guidance, we are here to help. Business owners, consumers and the general public are welcome to reach out for help.
Hit the button below, complete the form & one of our advocates will be in touch within 2 business days to discuss your enquiry & provide an opinion regarding your enquiry. Our advocate will provide you with a researched 15 minute phone consultation. If you would like to take further action, they will advise you what the next steps are.
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Advocate Me, HRAA and Australians Say No are always looking for solutions. While we have been openly critical of PCR testing and nasal swabs, we are less critical of the saliva antigen tests that have now been brought to the market.
This test is designed to detect SARS-CoV-2 viral antigen in saliva samples. An antigen is a substance that can cause your immune system to produce antibodies against it. For this reason, the saliva test will more accurately detect the presence of the virus, if you are infected, or about to become infected.
We are a little unclear about whether or not antigens differ between variants and the extent to which a positive result is a real indicator of infection. However, we do believe that the test we recommend here from V-Chek is as accurate as it can be, for a test that is less invasive as possible.
As an alternative to vaccination, we believe that employers would be mitigating any adverse action from government, if they provide their employees this option as a control measure to mitigate risk in the workplace.
We suggest conducting these every 3rd day, given a negative test on any day, should reassure the employer of a negative test within 72 hrs at least.
While the employers will be required to obtain the tests, there will be a nurse online at a very minimal cost, to ensure the test is performed and reported correctly by the employer.
For employees desperate to retain their positions, this is a viable option and one that employers could easily facilitate and potentially pass on, or share the cost with the employee.
The tests are sold in boxes of 20, at approximate cost of $15 per test. If employers were interested in providing those options to substitute vaccination, then this is the test we recommend.
Advocate Me and Australians Say No, is not acquiescing to the narrative that testing should be required in the workplaces. We continue to believe that management of sickness is the responsibility of the employee. Remaining at home when sick is the gold standard in mitigation strategy against infection.
If you are in Western Australia these rapid antigen tests are allegedly prohibited under directions. However, the government is rolling out the DETECT program, which uses a saliva test approved by the WA government for employers. When requesting please ask for the DETECT saliva test, not Rapid Antigen.
This test has been approved by the TGA. ARGT #374065
We are very aware that many people are impacted daily through coercive tactics and are forced to acquiesce to false directives or policies that go against the government guidelines, or one's own rights.
So the purpose of this initiative is to provide you with extensive research, studies and science that will help you address as many of these issues as you encounter them, without the need for our assistance. This means your immediate concerns can be addressed while we continue with our campaigns.
We understand this is a very difficult time. Employers are under tremendous pressure from governments to comply with mandates intended to force medical interventions on their employees.
You may have employees who are uncomfortable with taking the covid vaccine and don't intend taking it. If there is no public health order directing you, the simplest way to resolve any escalation is to respect their choice. If you are being directed through a public health order, this means you are faced with a difficult decision to make.
Choosing to enforce the direction will mean you may have to alter employment for a worker who decides not to take the covid vaccine. You rely on your workers to provide you with their skills and experience. No business owner wants the negative impacts that losing valuable staff will cause, as skills shortages can be difficult and costly to replace, hurting our businesses. So before terminating their employment, consider negotiating alternative outcomes such as:
Remember, an employer cannot make their employees participate in a medical procedure. Your employees are entitled to voice their opinion, and it is important to respect their choices. We need open and respectful dialogue if we are to have any success at resolution.
Choosing to stand with the decision of your employee, means you would likely need to ask the Minister or Department of Heath to change or reconsider the relevant Public Health Order. Until now, all the pressure has been on workers and employers, while Scott Morrison makes statements like:
“We do not have a mandatory vaccination policy in this country. We do not have that. We are not proposing to have that. That is not changing. But an employer may wish to make a reasonable directive to staff and if they do so, they need to do so consistent with the law.”
We should take heed in those comments. This has no basis in law, thereby exposing owners or directors to risk of liability from being pursued directly by the employee for negligence and other tortious actions, in the event of any injuries or damage resulting from being vaccinated to comply with employers enforcing mandates.
As employers, it is time to think hard about the implications these directions have on your own obligations to employees and contractors because, to reach their own objectives, the government is forcing employers to breach these obligations, without offering protections.
To assist employers who want to question these mandates, we provide a very extensive template letter that employers should use to press these issues with government, instead of enforcing the mandates. It is entirely reasonable and essential to have these questions of law and liability answered. We have started with letters to the Victorian, Western Australian and Queensland Governments, and will follow shortly with the other States and Territories.
We understand that the unions, DHS, Worksafe and Safework Australia are making threats to come after your business and shut down your premises if you do not comply; however we say that these directives are coercive, and are not based in law. Do not fold to these empty threats - because that is all they are at this stage.
The Australian Immunisation Handbook states that one of the criteria for consent is "to be given voluntarily in the absence of undue pressure, coercion or manipulation."
We urge employers not to panic and to stand your ground. This is your opportunity to say no to protect your business and your employees.
There is strength in numbers, so we recommend you complete the form on the join us page, selecting the industry as "Business owner". When the time comes, we can connect business owners, and build strong actions to protect you as employers.
We also provide a Business Risk Register to give you strategies on how to measure these risks for yourself, including lawful hazard control measures.
In spite of the government rhetoric, these vaccines do come with risks, as shown on the TGA adverse events page, and as evidenced by the increasing number of exemptions being offered within these directives. These adverse reactions exposes you to liability, both you and your employees should be protected from these risks and from the government for offloading their responsibilities onto employers!
These decisions are upon us now, whether we like it or not. So it is important that we approach this with respect and not with a adversarial or combative approach as this will undermine the ability for each party to work through this difficult time.
The Australian and state and territory governments have issued guidance on when a person will be exempt from wearing a face mask.
These exemptions include:
Some examples of lawful reasons for not wearing a face mask are:
And many many more.
In general terms, it is mandatory to wear a face mask in some public indoor settings, on domestic flights to and from a State or Territory, when travelling on public transport, in a taxi or ride share vehicle. There are a number of lawful reasons to not wear a face mask and patrons must wear a mask unless they have a lawful reason not to do so. Businesses should not refuse service to patrons who may have a valid lawful reason for not wearing a mask. For more information on face masks and human rights, visit the Human Rights website. This is the Victorian one but it is applicable in most States and Territories.
In various States, there are Government guidelines that operate in relation to masking requirements.
In Victoria, the mask requirements are contained here and here which effectively act as the authorisation from the Department. In general terms, masking requirements continue in certain indoor spaces. For those who work in a health care setting, whereby PPE (masks) are required, here are the current directions for Victoria which cover when you have to wear a mask and when you don’t. If the health care sector you are working in is breaching these policies, ensure that they are shown the current Victorian Directions here. You do not have to wear a mask outside of these Directions.
In Western Australia, information regarding masks can be found here and at present there is a strict mask mandate applying across all of the State.
The current mask mandates for Queensland can be found here.
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Business owners, consumers and the general public are welcome to reach out for help in relation to Covid mandates and more. To request a call back please hit the button below to book in a consultation with an advocate.
NB: This service is not for employment related questions. If you have an employment related query, please submit your request here.