News & Announcements

Updated: Navigating the Mandating of Vaccines for Volunteers: The View of Volunteering Victoria

By October 1, 2021 October 25th, 2021 No Comments

Updated: 25 October 2021

At Volunteering Victoria, we are all keenly aware that the vaccination mandate that came into effect on October 15th raises a lot of questions and challenges for your organisations, employees and volunteers.

The information below may assist you in considering whether you and/or your organisation’s setting has a mandate for being vaccinated. Please note, guidance will continue to be provided in the coming days and weeks as further details become available.

Mandated vaccine settings

To date, State and Federal Government have mandated vaccines in certain volunteering settings.

State Government Federal Government
Essential Volunteer Workers Residential Aged Care

The COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions can be accessed here. The directions stipulate that “worker” is defined as a person whether paid or unpaid, and all volunteers on site are therefore included in the mandate.

The Community Services Sector COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policy can be accessed here.

FAQs on Workforce Required to be vaccinated can be accessed here.

View how to get your COVID-19 digital certificate here.

Key Employer Obligations 

Data collection

Employer obligations require employers to “collect, record and hold vaccination information”.

Obligation to notify

Employers are required to notify their workforce of their obligations and how the mandate is to be implemented.

Both requirements represent a challenging compliance environment and DFFH accordingly provides specific guidance in the Community Services Sector COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policy and FAQs on Workforce Required to be vaccinated.

Our view

It is the view of Volunteering Victoria that vaccinating our community against COVID-19 is the most obvious and proven way out of the restrictions and lockdowns we have suffered through for many months. With the State Government announcing a directive mandating the vaccination of essential volunteer workers, we want to state our support for this announcement.

For non-mandated volunteer settings, it remains your personal/organisation’s decision to vaccinate or not (until a government health or legislative directive states otherwise). We encourage all individuals and organisations to strongly consider their safety and that of their wider workforce (including volunteers), clients and stakeholders.

Our advice to Organisations

Our advice to organisations is to be clear and transparent when it comes to assessing risk and deciding what is best for your organisation, visitors and/or clients with whom you interact and your volunteers. Wherever possible, we recommend involving them in the process.

Non-mandated vaccine settings

Volunteering Australia, with input from Volunteering Victoria, have put this Position Paper together in respect to vaccinations:

Resources to assess risk

Volunteer involving organisations have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of their volunteers as well as other stakeholders (e.g. staff, clients and customers). Relevant legislation includes The Victorian Wrongs Act (1958), and the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act (2004). View our Health and Safety guide here.