Directions for healthcare and health support workers

Healthcare workers and health support workers in public and private hospitals and public healthcare facilities will be required to be vaccinated to enter healthcare facilities, as outlined in the Health Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions (No 4) (Directions).  The Directions continue to apply to all Department of Health and Health Service Provider staff who work in corporate offices.

WA's mandatory vaccination policy will be updated in line with health advice and will only apply to workforces working with the most vulnerable to protect them from severe disease, effective from 10 June 2022. These changes mean workers in the following sectors must be triple dose vaccinated to be able to enter their work premise:

  • Healthcare and health support workers in hospitals and primary health care settings
  • Workers in residential aged care facilities, and
  • Disability support accommodation workers.

The vaccine requirements previously in place on other workforces were removed from 10 June 2022.

The changes to the policy align with national advice from AHPPC, which supports mandatory vaccination for workers in these sectors. Mandates for these groups continue to be implemented in most other Australian jurisdictions.

Western Australia’s overarching mandatory vaccination policy, which took effect from 1 December 2021 in a phased approach, was put in place before WA's controlled border was relaxed to protect WA and safeguard essential services and businesses.

Workers covered by the Directions

Healthcare and health support workers in hospitals and primary health care settings include:

  • all people who provide health, medical, nursing, midwifery, pathology, pharmaceutical, social work or allied health services to a patient at the healthcare facility, in any capacity
  • assistants in nursing, orderlies and hospital service assistants
  • students on placement
  • ambulance officers.

People who provide goods or services at a healthcare facility, both in a paid and a voluntary or unpaid capacity, are also included.

Facilities include any premises occupied by the Department of Health or a Health Service Provider.  These workers include:

  • a person employed or engaged by a third party, including a labour hire firm that provides staff to supplement the permanent workforce
  • a direct care worker, including a personal care worker
  • administrative staff, including people working in administration, management or reception services
  • ancillary staff, including cleaners, laundry staff, gardeners, food preparation services, security officers and maintenance services
  • people providing lifestyle and social care, such as music or art therapy
  • a person who provides commercial activities at premises that constitute a healthcare facility. For example, a person operating a kiosk on hospital premises
  • interpreters.

View the Health Worker (Restriction on Access) Directions frequently asked questions.

Exemptions from the Directions

You will be an exempt from mandatory vaccination if:

  • You have a medical exemption. Immunisation medical exemption criteria is available from the Australian Government website.
  • You have a temporary exemption, for example you may be granted a temporary exemption if you have been vaccinated overseas with a vaccine that has not been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration or if you are in an area where vaccine availability is limited and you have made every effort to obtain a vaccine.
  • You are performing a specific duty as outlined in the Directions.
  • You are a person of the kind listed in the Directions as exempt.
  • You are any other person declared to be exempt, which will only occur in exceptional circumstances.

Decisions on temporary exemptions will be considered by the Chief Health Officer on a case by case basis and may be subject to terms and conditions.

Temporary exemptions can be for an individual or an organisation or group of people. For example, a nursing post in remote WA may decide to apply for a temporary exemption for its staff due to the difficult in accessing vaccinations within the prescribed timeframe.

The Health Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions (No 4) Exemption Guidelines are available on the WA Government website.

More information

If you have questions about the Directions you can send any questions to the following addresses at your respective workplace:

Last reviewed: 10-06-2022