In an article that appeared in Response (the journal of the Australian College of Paramedicine) entitled Ways to lose your job (Part 1), I wrote:

What we can conclude, in this first article on how to lose your job – is that paramedics who fail to comply with legal requirements where that means they cannot perform their job can expect to lose their job. An argument that the requirements are excessive or not lawfully made is not an issue the employer or an industrial tribunal can deal with.

As further evidence of that conclusion, I can report on a number of cases determined by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission where paramedics lodged appeals against decisions to reject their exemption applications, or to suspend or dismiss them after they elected not to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Cases where the paramedic applicants were unsuccessful in overturning the decision:

  1. Elsworthy v State of Queensland (Queensland Ambulance Service) [2022] QIRC 412 (28 October 2022);
  2. Stys v State of Queensland (Queensland Ambulance Service) [2022] QIRC 415 (28 October 2022);
  3. Shield v State of Queensland (Queensland Ambulance Service) [2022] QIRC 439 (14 November 2022); and
  4. Jones v State of Queensland (Queensland Ambulance Service) [2023] QIRC 022 (24 January 2023).

There were no cases where the paramedic applicants were successful in overturning the decision.

This blog is made possible with generous financial support from the Australasian College of Paramedicine, the Australian Paramedics Association (NSW), Natural Hazards Research Australia, NSW Rural Fire Service Association and the NSW SES Volunteers Association. I am responsible for the content in this post including any errors or omissions. Any opinions expressed are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or understanding of the donors.