Australians fired for refusing Covid vaccine search social media for “welcoming” employers | Australia News


Unvaccinated Australians who have lost their jobs for refusing to comply with Covid vaccine mandates are using social media to find and share job opportunities at workplaces where the new rules are not enforced.

Telegram and Facebook have had an influx of people looking for paid jobs after states and territories implemented mandates spanning a range of sectors from health and elderly care workers to teachers and from the police to construction and hotel workers.

On some job boards, companies that are happy to accept unvaccinated people advertise that they are “welcoming to everyone.”

Beauticians, nursery nurses, disabled assistants and accountants are among the 20,000 people who are part of the largest group of unvaccinated job seekers in Australia.

Ash Heap is an electrician from Geelong who refuses to be vaccinated. “I find myself in a position where I lost my 20 year career,†he said.

“I don’t really have a lot of options. I received a small business grant that will allow me to live an extra month, but there is no income.

He owns a house with his partner, who also appears to be on the verge of losing her job. The pair hope the tenure will be dropped.

“We’ll probably have to rent the house and find work anywhere, do cash jobs, do whatever.”

Each state and territory has its own rules on mandates.

Victoria has one of the most extensive vaccination mandates, which went into effect last month and covers around 1.25 million people.

Last week, Western Australia announced it would roll out a mandate across multiple sectors, including teachers and supermarket workers, representing 75% of the state’s workforce.

New South Wales has a mandate in place for certain areas, but from December 1 it is expected to allow the same freedoms for unvaccinated citizens, with the exception of international travel. The mandate for high-risk workers will remain in place.

Julian Melvin has been sifting through job openings since losing his job as an arborist because he won’t get the shot. He says mainly odd jobs are offered.

“A lot of them are like ‘I need my laws broken’… cash work here and there,†he said. “Some companies say we’re going to hire you, but how many people are unemployed versus how many people need work? “

According to the latest data from the Melbourne Institute, reluctance to vaccinate in Australia has steadily declined, from a peak of 33% in May to 11.8% on October 21.

Hesitation remained highest in South Australia (17.9%), followed by Queensland (16.4%) and Washington State (15.6%).

Reluctance to immunize was much lower in Victoria (8.2%) and New South Wales (10%), as well as other smaller states and territories (8.4% in the Territory of Australian capital, Tasmania and the Northern Territory combined). Over 90% of people aged 16 and over in NSW, Victoria and ACT have received at least one jab.

Steve, who did not give his last name, runs Get it Fast Auto Glass in Sunshine. He advertised his business in a business directory that did not require staff or clients to be vaccinated.

The only other staff member is his wife, and he said he would tell his clients he was not vaccinated if they asked.

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“I’m not against vaccines, I’m against people who make me do them,†Steve said. “I don’t like someone being forced to do this.”

The Managing Director of FCW Avocats, Andrew Douglas, said that if an industry fell under a government mandate, it was not possible to challenge it. But some employees have argued that they can work from home to avoid having to comply.

“We’re starting to see a lot of people going ‘I can work from home’,†said Douglas. “We’re starting to see a lot of people providing medical evidence. “

At the same time, more and more companies were asking for advice on implementing their own Covid jab mandate to avoid losing customers. “We are now starting to have employers saying that we have a problem, no one will come to our sites with unvaccinated people. “

Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra said one of the biggest challenges was the risk that companies would lose staff.

“It is up to the individual and their employer to decide whether the work can be adapted to be performed at home,” Guerra said.

“After two long and difficult years for Victorian businesses, our main concern right now is to get back on our feet and have an exceptional summer trading period.”

Another emerging issue for vaccinated employees is whether they feel safe working alongside those who have not received the vaccine, said Liam Elphick, associate lecturer in law at Monash University.

“Employers have an obligation under workplace safety laws to prevent workplace hazards, not just address them when they occur,†Elphick said.

Covid security was likely to become “the main arena” for disputes in the future, he said, as vaccinated employees made sure all necessary checks and balances, including vaccines, were put in place. in place.

“Anyone has the opportunity to voice their concerns about a hazardous workplace,†he said.

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