Monash Health nurses lose court battle over vaccine mandate orders in latest landmark case

Nurses LOSE Legal Battle Over Vaccine Mandate Orders in Latest Historic Court Case

  • Monash Health may take disciplinary action against nurses who have not been vaccinated
  • 90 nurses wanted federal court to block disciplinary action on Wednesday
  • Arguing they had the right to be consulted on mandatory vaccination guidelines
  • Wanted an urgent injunction before the full case could go to trial, but it was denied










Monash Health has been given the green light to take disciplinary action, including firing nurses who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19.

About 90 nurses tried to block planned action in federal court on Wednesday, arguing they had a right to be consulted about Monash Health’s mandatory vaccination direction.

They sought an urgent injunction to stop disciplinary action before the full case can go to trial, but that was denied by Judge John Snaden, who felt their lawsuit was weak at best.

Monash Health has been given green light to take disciplinary action, including dismissal against nurses who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19

Since October 15, all Victorian health workers must prove to their employer that they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, had an appointment for a first dose on October 29, or have a medical exemption.

Monash Health also imposed that directive, with disciplinary action, including dismissal, applicable to those who did not follow the rules.

But the nurses say they have a right to be consulted in the workplace about the guideline – including the chance to express their views and take those views into account.

About 90 nurses tried to block planned action in the Federal Court on Wednesday, arguing they had a right to be consulted about Monash Health's mandatory vaccination direction.

About 90 nurses tried to block planned action in the Federal Court on Wednesday, arguing they had a right to be consulted about Monash Health’s mandatory vaccination direction.

Their attorney Nick Ferrett QC said Monash Health could and should have tried to sort out their concerns and whether it was possible to overcome them so that people could get vaccinated and continue to work.

He said if Monash Health has the resources to interview all those employees for disciplinary reasons, which he expected would happen, it’s hard to think they wouldn’t have the resources to consult.

The nurses sought an urgent injunction to stop disciplinary action before the full case could go to trial, but it was denied as their lawsuit turned out to be weak (Pictured: A nurse in Victoria receiving a Covid vaccine)

The nurses sought an urgent injunction to stop disciplinary action before the full case could go to trial, but it was denied as their lawsuit turned out to be weak (Pictured: A nurse in Victoria receiving a Covid vaccine)

Justice Snaden said Monash Health denied it was required to consult.

More importantly, he said their attorney Chris O’Grady had emphasized QC that the disciplinary process would only be initiated because the employees had failed to comply with the binding instruction.

Since October 15, Victorian health workers had to show employers that they had been fully vaccinated or had an appointment to receive a first dose by October 29 (Photo: A Victorian nurse who received a Covid vaccine dose)

Since October 15, Victorian health workers had to show employers that they had been fully vaccinated or had an appointment to receive a first dose by October 29 (Photo: A Victorian nurse who received a Covid vaccine dose)

“The course that has been charted has been charted because Monash Health has formed the view that the public health guidelines to which it is bound allow nothing else,” said Justice Snaden.

He found that disciplinary action and likely dismissal would have significant consequences for likely all employees, but felt that given the weakness of their case, it was not enough to grant the exemption they sought.

He had previously noted that if their case was successful at trial, they could ask for reinstatement and compensation for the period they were unfairly fired.

The full case will be heard before another judge at a later date.

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