• Commercial Law

    Commercial Law

    We are business people as much as we are lawyers. We will take care of the legal documents so you can confidently run your business.
    As your business grows, its risk profile and governance challenges will change. We partner with our clients over the long term to ensure they are in the driver’s seat for success.

  • Dispute Resolution

    Dispute Resolution

    We are in your corner when the going gets tough. Having resolved over 6,500 disputes for business owners have seen it all before.

    Whether you need a skilled negotiator or a fearless litigator, we specialise in delivering commercial results when:

    Customers refuse to pay;
    Suppliers let you down; and
    Business Partners do the wrong thing.

  • Employment & Safety

    Employment & Safety

    The biggest challenge for any business owner, is managing their employees.

    A difficult employee can make you question why you got into business in the first place and be toxic to your team morale.

    We deliver proactive solutions to manage your team via employment contracts, policies and procedures as well as handling employment disputes when they arise.

  • Property & Construction

    Property & Construction

    Property is the key most wealth in Australia.  Whether you are buying, selling, leasing or developing property, you need a lawyer you can count on.

    We can advise on the whole property development process from obtaining finance to development approvals, construction and sale or leasing.

    We also act for the Master Builders Victoria and have extensive expertise in construction contracts and disputes.

  • Family Law

    Family Law

    At Taurus Legal Management we understand the unique challenges clients encounter during family disputes, especially when children are involved. Our family lawyers specialise in handling high-asset cases with a focus on protecting clients wealth, securing their family’s future, and safeguarding the best interests of their children.


Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Workplace – Your Questions Answered

The law on whether COVID-19 vaccinations are compulsory in workplaces, remains undecided. As it currently stands, vaccinations are only mandated by legislation in Victoria for aged care workers.  If you are in any other sector, you must understand your current obligations and its intersection with anti-discrimination law.

Can I require my employees to be vaccinated?

The short answer is that most employers cannot require their employees to be vaccinated. The rationale behind this is that the vaccination is currently a voluntary vaccination – a person can choose whether they want to be vaccinated.

An employer can only require an employee to be vaccinated where:

  1. There is a specific law requiring it: for example, in Victoria residential aged care workers are required to have the COVID-19 vaccine, with the first dose to be administered by mid-September 2021;
  2. There is an enterprise agreement or an employment agreement that requires a vaccination. You may need legal advice to ensure that the agreement does not breach state and Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws;
  3. Where points 1 and 2 do not apply, an employer can only require a vaccination where that direction constitutes a lawful and reasonable direction.

Lawful and Reasonable Direction

Employees are required to follow lawful and reasonable directions given by their employer. An employee who fails to comply could be subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal.

A direction will be lawful where it falls within the scope of the contract of service (i.e. the scope of employment) and involves no illegality. Whether a direction is reasonable will depend on the terms of the employment, nature of employment, industry practices and the law.

There is no case which has dealt with whether requiring an employee to get a COVID-19 vaccination is a lawful and reasonable direction. However, our opinion is that it would not be a lawful and reasonable direction for the majority of Australians. It is likely to be less clear for those with a higher exposure to COVID-19, such as front-line workers. These industries should seek clarification and advice from a lawyer and Safe Work Australia.

Can I Preference a Vaccinated Candidate or Employee over Others?

In some circumstances you can. The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) is the primary legislation governing discrimination in the workplace. It prohibits discrimination based on a number of protected attributes – vaccination status is not one.

However, if an employee’s decision not to get vaccinated relates to a protected attribute (such as disability or pregnancy), an employer could be engaging in discrimination by requiring them to be vaccinated, refusing to offer employment or detrimentally affecting their employment.

What if the Law Changes?

For the law to change or be challenged, a case would have to be decided in court or parliament would have to pass new legislation. If this does happen, we anticipate that the law may include:

  • A direction from an employer for employees to be vaccinated will be a lawful and reasonable direction in high exposure industries;
  • Leave required for the vaccination will be covered by sick leave or a government subsidy;
  • Employers being indemnified for any side effects suffered as a result of the vaccination.

Given the law is undecided and untested in this area, we stress that the views contained in this article are our opinion and not legal advice. We urge you to seek legal advice on this matter and keep up to date with any changes in the law.

If you need assistance with advising your employees, please contact an experienced employment law team member at Taurus Legal Management on (03) 9481 2000 or at info@tauruslawyers.com.au

Posted by Taurus Legal Management