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Under the public health orders issued by the Victorian Chief Health Officer, CEHL and co-ops with Residential Renter Provider responsibilities (CERCs) are required to: 

  • Collect, record and hold vaccination status information of all workers  
  • Prevent unvaccinated workers from attending any work location outside of their ordinary place of residence 
  • Take all reasonable steps to ensure that all workers follow Covid Safe protocols 

What does this mean for co-ops?

What does this mean for co-op workers?

What does this mean for co-op members?

Co-op Meetings

Active Participation

What is CEHL doing?

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If you have a question that hasn't been included below, please contact us Contact CEHL


What does this mean for co-ops?


1.1 - Does a Co-op have to ask all the co-op members / all people in CEHL properties for their vaccination status? 

No, the Chief Health Officer directions do not require co-ops to collect vaccination status from co-op members, renters or occupants.   

The co-op is only required to collect vaccination status from workers who may be asked to conduct co-op tasks outside their ordinary place of residence. 


1.2 - Am I breaching privacy requirements asking vaccinations status?  

It’s not a breach of Privacy requirements to ask about someone’s vaccination status, but the person is not required to provide an answer.  

The Chief Health Officer directions require a co-op to request and store the vaccination status of any worker the co-op may require to undertake a co-op task outside their home. 

The Chief Health Officer directions are clear that a co-op cannot allow a worker who has not confirmed they have the required vaccinations status to undertake a co-op task outside their home.  

If a worker does not provide their vaccination status, the co-op cannot ask them to undertake a co-op task outside their home.


1.3 - Can co-ops ask applicants for proof of their immunisation status and make being fully immunised a condition of being offered membership and tenancy? 

It’s legal to ask a prospective renter about their vaccination status, but the renter cannot be required to provide a response.  

The co-op cannot make vaccination status a condition of membership and tenancy and cannot refuse to consider an applicant because of their vaccination status.  

Co-ops will need to consider all applicants and make a decision about which applicant is the ‘best fit’ for the co-op at that point in time and ensure that all members, regardless of vaccination status, can participate in the activities of the co-op.  

CEHL recommends that co-ops do not request vaccination status from applicants. This will protect the co-ops from an applicant being able to claim that their response (including a refusal to provide the information) was used inappropriately by the co-op in the selection process. 


1.4 - Do co-ops need to require vaccination status from workers, even it means losing reliable trades?

The Chief Health Officer directions are clear that an employer (or in this case a co-op) cannot employ a worker/contractor/business who has not confirmed they have the required vaccinations status.  

co-op cannot require a worker/contractor/business to provide the information, but if the information is not provided, the co-op cannot use that worker/contractor/business eg: tradesperson.  

If this means that a contractor the co-op normally uses, is no longer available, and the co-op are having trouble finding other contractors, please contact propertysupport@cehl.com.au   or call 1800 353 669 and your co-op Development Coordinator to discuss.  


1.5 - What do we do if a member asks a co-op to sign a document regarding the co-op response to members vaccination status?

Co-ops are not required to sign such statements.  

CEHL will provide co-ops with a statement you can provide to members or tradespeople to clarify the co-op obligations and approach to COVID vaccination status. 

If your co-op needs assistance responding to a request like this, please contact your Co-op Development Coordinator.    


1.6 - Can the co-op exclude a tradesperson if they have a medical exemption for the COVID vaccination?

If a tradesperson has a medical exemption you cannot exclude them  

People can obtain a medical exemption if they are unable to be vaccinated because: 

  • have a medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccines, or 
  • have an acute medical illness, including COVID-19 infection for up to 6 months (or earlier if the medical practitioner specifies an earlier date) 

These medical exemptions are determined by ATAGI clinical guidance. People will need evidence from an authorised medical practitioner about this - such as a medical certificate or a letter. 


1.7 - Can co-ops not invite members who are unvaccinated to co-op meetings?

No, co-op cannot discriminate against members due to their vaccination status. Co-ops will need to ensure that all members can participate in Co-op activities, including meetings, regardless of vaccination status. This is likely to require co-ops to continue to make it possible for members to attend meetings virtually. Virtual meeting options will also allow for members to attend co-op meetings and actively participate when they are unwell or reluctant to attend venues due to health concerns.


1.8 - Can a co-op inform a contractor about the vaccination status of a member whose home the contractor will be working in?

No. Co-ops cannot disclose the vaccination status of their renters/ members. It is up to the contractor to have their own COVIDSafe Plan in place.
In all cases, contractors should practice good hygiene and safe COVID practices to minimise risk of exposure.


What does that mean for co-op workers?

2.1 - What is a worker?

worker is anyone, paid or unpaid, delivering services or engaged by the co-op to do work on and behalf of the co-op. 

For co-ops, a ‘worker’ will include: 

  • co-op members undertaking any co-op tasks. This includes (but is not limited to) tenancy inspection, maintenance inspection, cleaning, bookkeeping 
  • maintenance contractors e.g.: plumber, electrician, gardener etc.  
  • cleaners  
  • bookkeepers, if they are required to do work outside their ordinary place of residence  

Under the Chief Health Officer Directions, a co-op must ensure that any worker require to undertake a task outside their home has provided evidence to the co-op that they have the vaccination status required. If that evidence has not been provided, the co-op cannot ask the worker to undertake the task. 


2.2 - What do co-ops do if contractors are not willing to adhere to the Direction and will not provide evidence as required?  

The co-op cannot employ a worker/contractor/business e.g.: tradesperson if they are unable to collect their vaccination status information. 

If the contractor the co-op normally uses is no longer available, and the co-op are having trouble finding other contractors, please contact propertysupport@cehl.com.au   or call 1800 353 669 


2.3 - Does this apply for Community Managed co-operatives (CMCs)?

Co-op's are only required to collect vaccination status from workers who may be asked to conduct co-op tasks outside their ordinary place of residence. Generally, CMC’s do not request workers/contractors/businesses eg: tradesperson to work outside their ordinary place of residence for and on behalf of the co-op. 

A CMC will need to make sure any worker or contractor you request to do a task outside their home has the required vaccination status – For example, if you contracted a facilitator to attend a co-op meeting or ask a bookkeeper to attend in person.  

Other COVID-safe requirements restricting in-person meetings also still apply. 


2.4 -  What if the Maintenance Director is not vaccinated and/ or has a medical exemption?  

The Co-op will need to make sure that the member is not requested to undertake any task and or work outside their home. This can be done by considering the range of work/ tasks associated with each Director Role and assigning work/tasks that can be done inside their own home, to that member.  

2.5 - Is it ok to undertake tasks in a property where occupants are unvaccinated or do not wish to disclose their vaccination status?

Co-ops will already have a COVID safe process they can continue to follow to manage any urgent maintenance requirements in the short term. Please contact you Property Officer if you need assistance to manage urgent maintenance. 

CEHL will shortly provide co-ops with some Best Practice process to identify and manage COVID risks as it becomes possible to restart cyclical maintenance and inspection processes. CEHL recommends that co-ops do not re-commence those processes until that advice has been received from CEHL.  


2.6 - What if the contactor is a sole trader? Do they still need to comply with this Direction?

A sole trader contractor is a worker. Given the Chief Health Officer Directions, a co-op must ensure that any worker undertaking a task on a co-op property has provided evidence to the co-op that they have the vaccination status required. If that evidence has not been provided, the co-op cannot continue to engage this contractor regardless of if they are a sole trader or not.


What does this mean for co-op members?

3.1 - Will I lose my housing if I am not vaccinated?

No renter can be required to end their tenancy because of their vaccination status.  

A co-op member/renter is not required to provide their vaccination status, and their status will not have any implications for their tenancy. 


3.2 - Is CEHL asking co-op members to be vaccinated, as it is not mandatory?

No, CEHL is not asking co-op members to be vaccinated.  Under the recent Chief Health Officer Directions, CEHL and CERCs are now required to collect vaccination status of workers. They are not requirements that CEHL has developed. CEHL is not able to influence or change the health orders in any way. The orders do not require workers to be vaccinated but do require CEHL and CERCs to collect and record workers’ vaccination status. 

As part of CEHL’s role in resourcing co-ops, CEHL is providing co-ops with information about what is required under the Chief Health Officer’s Directions, and best practice advice about how to meet those requirements.  CEHL must also comply with the health orders.   

It’s important to note that the Chief Health Officer’s Directions do not require co-ops to collect vaccination status from co-op members, renters or occupants.   

The co-op is only required to collect vaccination status from workers/contractors/businesses eg: Co-op members or tradespeople that the co-op has asked to conduct co-op tasks outside their ordinary place of residence. 


3.3 - What does a co-op do if a co-op member chooses not to be vaccinated or not disclose their vaccination?

The Chief Health Officer Directions do not require co-ops to collect vaccination status from co-op members, renters or occupants.  The co-op is only required to collect vaccination status from ‘workers’ who may be asked to conduct co-op tasks outside their ordinary place of residence. 

Co-ops will need to ensure that all members can participate in co-op activities, regardless of their vaccination status. This is likely to require co-ops to ensure that meetings are virtual or hybrid and to ensure that co-op members who have not confirmed the required vaccination status are not asked to do co-op tasks outside their home.  


3.4 - How do I know if CEHL contractors in my home are vaccinated?

Under the Chief Health Officers Directions, CEHL and co-ops are required to ensure that any worker or contractor going to a home has the appropriate vaccination status.  

CEHL will provide a statement that workers can provide to renters/occupants to confirm that they comply with any relevant directions.  

We will be providing all employees required to go to homes, an employee card, that confirms they “Comply with Chief Health Officer Directives and COVID Safe Plan”. 


3.5 - Can I ask to see contractors’ vaccination status?

No, renters/occupants cannot require an individual worker to show proof of vaccination. 

CEHL will provide a statement that workers or contractors can provide to renters/occupants to confirm that they comply with any relevant directions.


3.6 - Is it a breach of the Privacy Act to request someone’s vaccination Status? Are people required to respond to a co-op request to provide vaccination status?

It is not a breach of the Privacy Act to request someone’s vaccination status.  

Any person may choose not to respond to a request to provide vaccination status.  

CEHL recommends that co-ops should only request vaccination status where necessary to comply with Chief health Officer Directions. 

If the vaccination status document shows details of other vaccinations other than COVID 19 vaccination, it is suggested that the co-op ask people to black out this other information before they provide it to the co-op

Any vaccination information provided must be stored securely and only used and disclosed on a need-to-know basis in line with obligations under the Australian Privacy Principles, in accordance with Australian Privacy Standards and the Australian Privacy Principles and Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) 

People can request to access their own vaccination record information at any time and can also request that any relevant updates are made to it.  


3.7 - Can CEHL or co-ops pressure or coerce anyone to be vaccinated?

No. No one can be coerced, and everyone can make their own informed decisions. CEHL or co-ops cannot coerce people to comply. CEHL and co-ops will respect member’s choices about their health. 


3.8 - Does every co-op member need to provide their vaccination status?

No, co-op members do not have to provide their vaccination status unless they are a co-op worker who may be asked to undertake tasks outside their ordinary place of residence.

A co-op worker is any co-op member doing tasks for their Co-op.

Co-ops should not be asking co-op members for their vaccination status unless they meet the definition of a co-op worker and may be required to do tasks outside the worker’s own home.


3.9 - Is it okay for a vaccinated member, e.g. Maintenance director to enter the home of a vaccinated person?

Yes it is. Please continue to practice good hygiene and safe COVID practices.


3.10 - Is it reasonable to ask an unvaccinated member to leave their home for the duration of a maintenance inspection or contractor visit?

No, it is not reasonable to ask this.

A member may be asked to wear a mask, allow for appropriate social distancing (e.g., one person in a room at a time), and for any conversations about the works or inspection to occur outside


Co-op Meetings

4.1 - How can we conduct co-op meetings?

Each co-op must: 

  • Have a COVID Safe Plan and record meeting attendance in shared spaces  
  • This has been a requirement by the Victorian Government since 28 May 2021 
  • As co-ops are businesses, each co-op will need to review the Roadmap to keep their COVID Safe plan up-to-date. For current information, please visit the DHHS https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/
  • Arrange any in-person meetings at local venues with a COVID Safe Plan, virtually and/ or hybrid meetings 
  • Ensure people attending the meeting are complying with the venue requirements, using the QR Code, and keeping electronic records of attendance. 

Co-ops will need to acknowledge that some members may not feel comfortable attending meetings in person as they may have underlying health issues or not want to attend large venues etc.  

It will be important for co-ops to respect member’s choices about their health. A co-op cannot pressure or coerce a member to be vaccinated or require a member to attend meetings in person.  

Co-ops will need to ensure that members have options to participate in co-op activities regardless of their health or vaccination status. It is recommended that co-ops provide a virtual attendance option for any in-person meetings to enable active participation of all members. 

Some co-ops may decide to have more meetings virtually and only meet in person for pre-determined and/or special meetings. This is up to co-op members. 


4.2 - Can there be COVID Marshalls at co-op meeting?  

Co-ops can choose to have COVID Marshalls as part of your COVD Safe Plan. It will be up to each co-op to determine the best way to manage a COVID Safe Plan that suits co-op members. 


Active Participation

5.1 - If a person chooses not to be vaccinated, can they be deemed in breach of the activity agreement and their housing at risk.

No, they will not be. Co-op’s may need to review existing Activity Agreements to ensure that members who have not confirmed their vaccination status are not required to undertake co-ops tasks outside their ordinary place of residence. 


5.2 - If a member/ perspective member is unvaccinated, how can they be active members?

The Active membership Program Policy already provides a framework for co-ops to consider Active membership requirements: The co-operative will set reasonable expectations for active membership, and these will be expressed with flexibility and imagination. 

Co-ops will need to ensure meetings are offered in ways that allow for each member to actively participate


What is CEHL doing?

6.1 - We have CEHL contractors who attend our site and home? How do we know if the contractors are complying with the Directions?

The Chief Health Officer Directions apply to CEHL employees and contractors, and CEHL also must comply with them.   

  • All contractors engaged by CEHL who attend other places of work other than that person home, has been asked to provide evidence they are fully vaccinated with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, 
  •  Or have received your first dose and have a booking to receive your second dose by 15 November 2021 
  •  Or have a medical exemption evidenced by an authorised medical practitioner 

Co-ops are not required to ask CEHL contractors for their vaccination status. 


6.2 - Are CEHL staff complying with these Directions?

Yes, CEHL staff are required to comply with Chief Health Officer Directions.  

CEHL acts in accordance and is compliant with all current Public Health Directions aimed at minimising the spread of COVID-19 in the community. We are committed in our Duty of Care to reduce any associated risks that may impact the ongoing health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, co-ops and their members and renters, and the communities in which we operate. 


6.3 - Do CEHL Board members need to comply with these Directions?

Yes, the Chief Health Officer applies to any person engaged by the employer (CEHL) to perform work. That means that CEHL is required to request vaccination status from employees, volunteers, contractors, sub-contractors, Board Directors and committee members. 


6.4 - Do CEHL Committee members need to comply with these Directions?

Yes, the Chief Health Officer applies to any person engaged by the employer (CEHL) to perform work. That means that CEHL is required to request vaccination status from employees, volunteers, contractors, sub-contractors, Board Directors and committee members.


6.5 - Can I attend CEHL office if I am not double vaccinated?

CEHL cannot allow anyone to attend the office unless they have confirmed their vaccination status meets the requirements set out in the Chief Health Officer Directions.