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Accountants ‘must be vaccinated to attend work premises’: Victoria health department

Accountants must have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by midnight 22 October to attend their office or usual work premises in Victoria.

Business Maja Garaca Djurdjevic 26 October 2021
— 1 minute read

As of this week, unvaccinated advisers risk hefty fines if they fail to comply with Victoria’s new COVID worker directions introduced in early October.

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According to a directive issued by the Victorian government, authorised workers must have had a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 22 October at the latest, to work outside the home.

Authorised workers include those who provide a financial service (as defined in section 766A of the Corporations Act 2001 of Commonwealth), or "works in connection with the provision of such a service".

Victoria’s Department of Health confirmed for Accountants Daily's sister brand, ifa, that accountants and financial advisers are in fact considered authorised workers and that this directive applies to them.

“Accountants and other financial services providers must work from home if they can,” a spokesperson for the department said.

“They can only attend their office or usual work premises if it is not reasonably practical to work from home and they have either had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or hold a medical exemption,” the spokesperson explained.

Firms that do not comply are liable to fines of over $100,000, while unvaccinated staff working “onsite” risk being fined over $20,000.

The department reminded that, according to the rules, professional services workers, including accountants and other financial services providers, must be fully vaccinated by midnight on 26 November 2021, unless a medical exemption applies.

Further, in line with the rules, professional employers (including advisers) are also tasked with ensuring their workers can prove they have received their first vaccination by 22 October and are fully vaccinated by 26 November.

As employers, accountants and advisers are thus asked to collect, record and hold information about compliance with the above.

“The advice from the Burnet Institute and all our public health officials is that vaccination remains our best protection. As authorised workers are currently moving around Victoria the most, it’s vital they get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and all of Victoria,” Premier Daniel Andrews said in early October.

The Burnet modelling showed that the key to opening up and reducing risk in Victoria would be making sure workers across the state are vaccinated.

Accountants ‘must be vaccinated to attend work premises’: Victoria health department
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Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan is the deputy head of content at Momentum Media and editor of the company's legal publication, Lawyers Weekly.

Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015 and has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia. In addition, she has produced exclusive multimedia and event content related to the company's respective brands and audiences.

A journalist by training, Emma has spent her career connecting with key industry stakeholders across a variety of platforms, including online, podcast and radio. She graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism).

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