Small business groups in Australia are calling for the right to sack workers who refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccination when one becomes available.
On Wednesday the federal government announced it had signed a letter of intent with British drug company AstraZeneca, which is working with Oxford University on a promising trial of coronavirus vaccines that could be launched early next year.
Under the deal, Australia would make and supply the vaccine and provide it free to all Australians, but authorities say that for an effective national immunisation programme 95 percent of the population would need to be vaccinated.
“If one of my staff members says, ‘no, I’m against it’, then I’m going to have to say, I’m sorry you are a threat to my business,” Council CEO Peter Strong told 7NEWS.
“If you don’t sack them, you don’t have a business, especially if you’re in a high contact area where you’ve got a lot of customers.”
“It’s not discrimination, that’s a business decision.”
Nonetheless, the jab won’t be compulsory, health minister Greg Hunt told Sunrise that the government “have absolutely kept on the table concepts such as no jab no pay, no jab no play.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also said that he was “open to all options”.
ACTU Secretary Sally McManus said in a statement to 7NEWS that unions formalise their response while “encouraging working people to do everything they can to prevent the spread of the virus”.
“Obviously that will include getting vaccinated when a vaccine becomes available,” she said.