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The Federal Government has finalised the details of a no fault COVID-19 Vaccine Claim Scheme following extensive consultation with the peak medical, healthcare, business and insurance sectors, to ensure a comprehensive National Scheme.

The Scheme will provide Australians with quick access to compensation for COVID-19 claims related to the administration of a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved COVID-19 vaccine delivered through a Commonwealth Government approved program.

From 6 September 2021, Services Australia will accept claims on a no-fault basis for anyone who suffers from severe side effects that may rarely occur from either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

This means that employers who want to encourage employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine will be protected by a new compensation scheme for anyone who suffers from the exceptionally rare but sometimes serious side effects of coronavirus vaccinations. 

The scheme will only cover verified claims valued above $5,000 by a team of independent experts. It will pay out compensation based on their recommendations.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Scheme will be backdated to February 2021 and provide Australians with an alternative, administrative option to seek compensation, rather than a complex and costly court process.

Members can obtain further information regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheme by clicking on this link.

For the avoidance of doubt, Master Builders advises that in the current absence of a Public Health Order (PHO) generally making vaccinations mandatory for all workers, members should assess, on a case-by-case basis; whether they can lawfully and reasonably direct an employee to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. 

Please note that the current PHO prescribes certain vaccination protocols being applicable to construction workers residing in LGAs of concern.