Tasmanian healthcare workers have until the end of October to provide evidence they will be vaccinated, but it remains unknown what will happen to the employment of those who refuse the jab.
The government on Friday announced there would be a public health order signed off next week for mandatory vaccinations of all workers in the state's public and private healthcare systems.
Health Department secretary Kathrine Morgan-Wicks on Friday said about 80 per cent of public healthcare workers had been already vaccinated.
"Given the immediate threat of Delta to Tasmania, it is critical that we vaccinate the remainder of this workforce and to protect the health and safety of all people working in healthcare settings in Tasmania and to protect the vulnerable patient cohort in their care," she said.
Ms Morgan-Wicks said a mandatory vaccination program would protect the state's health system from mass furloughing of staff and support workers in the instance of an outbreak.
She said workers would need to provide evidence of their vaccination, booking or medical exemption to their employer by October 31.
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She said healthcare employees might be exempted from a vaccination through a medical certificate, in which case redeployment options to a low-risk work setting would be considered.
Ms Morgan-Wicks would not elaborate whether workers would be made redundant if they chose not to vaccinate and were not supported by a medical certificate.
"We will have a range of options for employees, but the strongest one that I would be encouraging is that they absolutely get vaccinated," she said.
Health and Community Services Union state secretary Tim Jacobson said the union would meet with the department early next week on the matter.
"Fundamentally, because of the serious delays in the rollout of the vaccine, governments are now having to resort to these sorts of measures to increase vaccination rates," he said.
"But we do support it."
Mr Jacobson said the stance on mandatory vaccinations might prove tricky from an industrial relations viewpoint, but said the law - although changed - would take precedence.
"So in essence, until the person receives the vaccine, they won't be in a position to work," he said.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation state secretary Emily Shepherd said the union was only advised of the decision before the announcement with no prior consultation.
"The ANMF has sought urgent information on this decision so that we can reliably inform members," Ms Shepherd said.
"We have also requested an urgent meeting with the Department of Health to better understand what this will mean for members."
Ms Shepherd said the union has also sought advice on a workforce strategy should the mandate lead to further vacancies and place more pressure on an already overstretched workforce.
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