Taking the Pulse of the Nation

Wave 39 (16-21 August 2021)

Strong support from employees for compulsory vaccination and regular testing in the workplace

The conversation about managing the COVID-19 pandemic is shifting towards how to achieve the 70-80 percent vaccination coverage deemed essential to avoid intermittent lockdowns and strict restrictions. Should employers be more pro-active and how will their employees react? In wave 39, we asked specifically whether employees would support their employers mandating compulsory vaccination (Figure 1) and regular testing (Figure 2).

  • The responses indicated strong support with, on average for Australia, 73% support for compulsory vaccination and 68% for regular testing.
  • Across the mainland states, support was higher in NSW and VIC compared to SA and WA, possibly reflecting current lockdowns in NSW and VIC.
  • Support was across employment types (casual, fixed-term, permanent contracts) with workers employed on an ongoing basis, possibly less keen on regular testing (albeit support for regular testing is still a high 65%).
  • Mandatory vaccination and regular testing of employees was also supported by younger and older workers, with support seemingly increasing with age.

*The survey contains responses from 1200 persons, aged 18 years and over. The sample is stratified by gender, age and location to be representative of the Australian population.

**This report is written by professor Guay Lim

Download the PDF

© The University of Melbourne – Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research, 2021. This work is copyright. The material may be reproduced and distributed for non-commercial purposes only, subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source(s).