Refused Flu Injection from Boss

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26 April 2014
Hi there, I went into work on Thursday and the manager and one of the sales staff approached me and asked if I had had a flu injection at the doctor. I said no because I don't believe I need to put my immune system at risk. I am eighteen and pretty healthy and I just said what the truth was. The manager said that a few of the sales staff had come down with the flu and it may have been me that was the carrier. He said that it would be a smart idea if I went and got one or else I am possibly putting everyone at risk, especially the older staff, and he would rather lose one employee than risk everyone else plus risking the daily turnover of the business? What now?


Well-Known Member
8 April 2014
G'day Lucas,
Check your contract, but its highly unlikely that getting the flu shot is a condition of your employment.

I’m not aware of any Australian workplaces that have a mandatory flu vaccination policy. The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre has had a “mandatory” influenza vaccination program but there are no punitive consequences for staff who refuse to participate. There has been a push for health care workers to get the flu vaccination as part of their employment but again, that’s not mandatory.

As long as you have good hygiene (wash your hands properly and cover your face when you cough or sneeze), then you’re going somewhat of the way to avoid spreading or catching the flu. However, regardless of your age or health, you’re not flu-proof and it could really knock you about or have health complications. See this Influenza Specialist Group article.

They can’t sack you for not getting a flu shot, but I doubt your colleagues will give you any sympathy or let up if you do get sick.

If you are dismissed because you don’t get the flu shot (as opposed to a legitimate reason such as not performing the inherent requirements of your job), then you would likely have a case for unfair dismissal or unlawful termination (see the Fair Work website).
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