COVID-19 advice and resources

Vaccine mandate for Queensland education workers

3 DECEMBER 2021: The Chief Health Officer (CHO) has yet to release the full details of the health directive mandating vaccination for education workers in Queensland. IEU Support and advocacy continues throughout the vacation break.

Read Member Advisory #31 here. 

Read our Mandatory Vaccination for Staff in Education FAQ here.

30 NOVEMBER 2021: The Chief Health Officer (CHO) has advised they will be issuing a health directive mandating COVID-19 vaccinations across the Queensland education sector.

We understand the health directive will require employees to have received their first dose of the vaccine by 17 December 2021 and a second dose by 23 January 2022.

Read Member Advisory #28 here.

Is your employer providing paid vaccination leave?

Our union believes all employees deserve access to paid leave for COVID-19 vaccination as part of a shared commitment to keeping our community safe.

👉Click here to find out your employer’s response to our claim for paid leave.

Latest Community Kindergarten COVID-19 Advisories


Latest general COVID-19 Member Advisories


IEU-QNT Member Q&A: COVID-19 Vaccinations – read the latest member advice now.


Stringent health and safety precautions remain paramount for all schools throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The inherent unpredictability and volatility of this health emergency reinforces the need for comprehensive precautions in all schools.

Having a COVID-19 response plan in place is a critical matter for all school employers.

When it comes to COVID-19 response plans, all employers must ensure they have good working relationships with their local health officer well ahead of any situation arising at their school or school sites.

This is essential so they can collaborate immediately in the event of any school closure and the implementation of associated cleaning and contact tracing processes.


Protocols and job protections critical

Schools must be prepared to enact an emergency response plan in cases of suspected infections within a school community including protocols for decontamination and paid leave for employees during any closure.

A critical element is ensuring wage protections and support for casual staff.

Casual employees have generally been ignored in the various pandemic leave policies developed by employers.

The very nature of insecure casual work has proven to have potentially disastrous consequences interstate, and pandemic leave must be extended to include casual staff who are required to self-quarantine or in cases where a school closes.


Meeting with Chief Health OfficerDiscissions with Government and Chief Health Officer

Our union continues to advocate on behalf our members with relevant government bodies to ensure safe school workplaces. 

Our IEU members living in the NSW border zone have been particularly impacted by border restrictions.

You can read our correspondence to the Chief Health Officer that outlines our concerns regarding the exclusion of school staff from entering QLD – a restriction that has now thankfully been addressed by the state government with school staff now being deemed essential workers for border access.

Our union has previously met with the Chief Health Officer to raise issues with respect to the safe operation of schools including:

  • the current medical advice for the operation of schools and its possible revision;
  • the capacity of schools to practice social distancing;
  • the best practice operational steps for a school in the event of a COVID-19 closure; and
  • the process for engagement with stakeholders for updates/revision of medical advisories.

Maintaining our dialogue with employers and government as we face the challenges of COVID-19 is paramount and our union is always here for members when it comes to providing support and action to enforce safety measures.


Complying with COVID-19 tests should not disadvantage members

Employees should not suffer any financial disadvantage as a result of their compliance with health advice or employer directions.

Many of the current employer policies fail to address this specific situation of COVID-19 tests.

Employers should confirm the following where an employee is taking a COVID-19 test or awaiting their results for a return to work clearance:

  •  If otherwise fit for duty, the employee should be able to work from home.
  • If work from home is not viable and the employee is otherwise fit for duty, they should be provided additional special paid leave to cover their absence.

A generous and compassionate approach by employers in these circumstances is essential to help minimise the potential spread of the virus.


Members highlight psychological safety

The pandemic’s psychological effects must also be considered and addressed by employers.

As part of National Safe Work Month in October 2020, our members reiterated to employers that their workplace health and safety responsibilities are to both the physical and psychological wellbeing of staff.

Teachers and schools support staff have become frontline workers in this pandemic but they like everyone else are dealing with the challenges of COVID-19 in their personal lives too.

Employee access to mental and wellbeing support services is another essential pillar in any response plan to this crisis and must be a priority for employers. Read our Health & Safety in Education Workplaces factsheet here. 

Contact us for support

Our union is available to assist any member in need of support.

We encourage all members seeking advice to contact our union:

IEU-QNT resources

Industrial Fact Sheets & Member Advice

  • IEU-QNT Member Q&A: COVID-19 Vaccinations >> here
  • Health and safety in education workplaces >> here
  • Virtual Chapter Meeting Guidelines  >> here
  • Advice for post-secondary education members on JobKeeper and JobSeeker >> here
  • Alternative work duties for school officers and services staff >> here
  • Working from home: your rights and responsibilities >> here
  • COVID-19 Support Resources >> here

Professional Resources

  • Developing a growth mindset > > here
  • Corona-anxiety: recognising warning signs in children >> here
  • Engaging with students: where to draw the line >> here
  • QCAA Open Educational Resources Database >> here
  • eSafety.gov.au >>here
  • The Girls in STEM Toolkit >> here
  • Digital Teachnologies Hub: Online Ideas >> here

Industrial resources

Australian Council of Trade Unions
Safe Work Australia
Other Sources: 

Mental health support

The COVID-19 pandemic is understandably causing stress and anxiety for many people.

In addition to the support available through our union, we encourage members to seek additional support if they are in need.

Avenues for mental health support:

Health advice

Members should ensure they seek health advice from reputable sources such as the Department of Health

If you require medical assistance, call your GP, medical clinic or the national COVID-19 helpline (1800 020 080) for advice.

Government websites

Federal Government

Queensland 

Northern Territory