A health care worker fills a syringe at a COVID vaccination clinic
A health care worker fills a syringe with the Pfizer vaccine at a COVID vaccination clinic in 2021 Image by Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS

Failed bill sparks new viral vaccine claim

Kate Atkinson April 20, 2023
WHAT WAS CLAIMED

The NSW government has passed a law which makes employers liable for any adverse effects suffered as a result of mandatory vaccination policies.

OUR VERDICT

False. The claim is based on a proposed amendment to the Public Health Act in 2021 that was rejected.

Social media posts claim the NSW government has passed a law that makes employers with mandatory vaccination policies accountable for adverse effects and liable to pay compensation.

The posts provide a link to the Public Health Amendment (Vaccination Compensation) Bill 2021 which they claim has recently been passed.

But the claim is false. The amendment bill was introduced to parliament in 2021, but was voted against and never enacted as law. 

Facebook post
 The bill in question was introduced in 2021 but was rejected. 

“The NSW government just bought (sic) in a law that employers mandating the jab are now accountable for any adverse reactions suffered and they have to pay compensation to that person for the rest of their lives even if they are not working for them anymore,” one Facebook post (archived here) reads.

The caption includes a link to the Public Health Amendment (Vaccination Compensation) Bill 2021.

The claim has spread widely on social media with other examples seen here, here, here and here. One TikTok video posted on April 14 had gained more than 548,000 views at the time of publication. 

The Public Health Amendment (Vaccination Compensation) Bill was introduced in February 2021 by then Christian Democratic Party senator Fred Nile, as a proposed amendment to the Public Health Act 2010.

Fred Nile
 Fred Nile failed in his bid for re-election this year. 

The bill proposed that if a “relevant body” required a worker to be vaccinated against a disease it would be “liable to pay compensation to the worker for any injury, loss or damage suffered by the worker as a result of the vaccine” and would “be liable to pay compensation to the worker until the worker’s death, even if the worker ceases to be employed or otherwise engaged by the relevant body” (page 2).

 The bill was rejected after its second reading debate on February 23, 2022 (page 7026). 

Senator Fred Nile announced his retirement from politics in October 2022, but later decided he would join the ballot for the unregistered Revive Australia Party at the March 2023 election. He was not re-elected.

The Verdict

The claim the NSW government has passed a law which makes employers liable for any adverse effects suffered as a result of mandatory vaccination policies is false.

The claim is based on the Public Health Amendment (Vaccination Compensation) Bill, which was introduced to parliament in 2021 by then-senator Fred Nile. The bill was voted down after its second reading debate and it never made it into law.

False ÔÇô The claim is inaccurate.

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