Victorian and New South Wales roadmaps out of lockdown both feature the requirement for patrons to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter pubs, restaurants and cafes, with many protesting this decision. However, one law expert has gone on the record to say that mandating vaccination is not discrimination.
Monash University associate lecturer in the Faculty of Law Liam Elphick said these “no jab, no entry” policies do not constitute discrimination.
“Discrimination laws prohibit distinctions based on particular attributes, which are largely traits we cannot change and have been used to justify the marginalisation of entire communities—such as sex, race, disability and sexuality,” Mr Elphick said.
“There is no protected attribute for choosing not to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Work health and safety laws require employers to take steps to reduce workplace risks. The best way to protect hospitality workers and patrons from COVID-19 is through vaccines.
“While people can choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19, businesses are equally free to choose not to permit them entry.”
This week has seen violent demonstrations erupt in Melbourne, as construction workers protest mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 in the construction industry. As a result of industry-wide non-compliance, the Victorian Government has ordered the immediate shutdown of construction sites across locked down areas of the state.