Commonwealth agencies with staff covered by mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements from the Victorian government say they will comply with the order.
The union representing some of the public servants - including employees at Centrelink and Australian Border Force - has said it supports mandatory vaccinations when there are clear public health requirements.
It follows the Victorian government's decision earlier this month to make COVID vaccinations mandatory for authorised workers. The order covered Centrelink workers and staff in Commonwealth agencies including Australian Border Force and Commonwealth law enforcement and intelligence agency services.
Employees are required to receive their first vaccine dose by October 15 to keep working onsite. They will have to be fully vaccinated by November 26.
Limited exemptions apply, including when a worker has a medical exemption with evidence from an authorised medical practitioner. The Victorian government's acting chief health officer put the directions in place from 11.59pm October 7.
The Australian Federal Police said it was making arrangements to ensure it complied with the Victorian government direction.
The AFP required members working in high COVID risk operations, such as airports, to be vaccinated, as soon as vaccination became an option, the spokesperson said.
"The entire workforce continues to be strongly encouraged to get vaccinated. To date the uptake has been strong with a large number of staff fully vaccinated.
"The AFP's continuing policy remains one of encouragement and support for staff to be vaccinated. Regular messaging to employees from the executive and others will continue to encourage as many staff as possible take up the vaccine."
A spokesperson for Services Australia said it was awaiting formal Victorian government workplace directions to support its staff.
Staff were supported to attend COVID-19 vaccination appointments during paid work time, the spokesperson said.
The Home Affairs Department - which oversees Australian Border Force - said it complied with public health orders.
We would strongly disagree with any mandatory vaccination process that does not provide employees with an exemption from receiving a vaccination because of legitimate medical and religious grounds.Australian Federal Police Association
The Community and Public Sector Union's national secretary, Melissa Donnelly, said it supported mandatory vaccinations where there were clear public health requirements.
"There are already some specific Australian Public Service areas with an operational case around mandatory vaccinations, based on public health orders and [federal health] advice and we have worked with agencies on the application of those rules," she said.
"The CPSU strongly supports vaccination and paid leave for employees to receive and recover from the vaccination.
"The best way to boost vaccination rates is through support and public education. It essential that departments and agencies make it as easy as possible to access vaccinations."
The overwhelming majority of public servants wanted to get vaccinated, and the priority should be helping them receive their vaccines, Ms Donnelly said.
"Our own surveys already put our membership well ahead of the national average in terms of getting the jab. To protect our communities everyone who can, should get vaccinated."
"The main issue that has been raised with the union is the availability of vaccinations, and ensuring access is equitable for APS labour hire workers."
The Australian Federal Police Association's president Alex Caruana said it had encouraged members and their families to be vaccinated.
However he said there were legitimate grounds for employees being unable to receive a vaccination, including medical or religious grounds.
"We would strongly disagree with any mandatory vaccination process that does not provide employees with an exemption from receiving a vaccination because of legitimate medical and religious grounds."
It was essential that members in positions at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 were vaccinated, Mr Caruana said.
The AFP in some cases would need to redeploy members from certain positions if they had not been vaccinated or chose not to be vaccinated.
"However, such assessment as to whether a position requires a vaccination or a member must be moved from that position should be done on a case-by-case basis, considering the particular circumstances of that person, the level of risk of transmission and any other options to protect the member from harm," Mr Caruana said.
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