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Will you lose your job if you don’t get the Covid-19 jab? | ticker VIEWS

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Mandatory vaccines in the workforce are a contentious topic

As many major organisations move to mandate Covid-19 vaccines for their employees, questions loom over the legalities surrounding this.

Can employers lawfully require employees to get a Covid-19 vaccine?

Many companies right around the world are moving to make Covid-19 vaccines compulsory for their workers. In the United States, Disney, Delta Airlines, Google, and Walmart are among the big names already implementing the mandate.

In Australia, Qantas, Virgin Australia, and SPC are considering their own mandates. Many Unions in Australia are encouraging workers to get the vaccine but will support those who push back against it.

“As soon as vaccines become more generally available, then most employers will be able to lawfully require most employees to be vaccinated.”

Ian Neil, Barrister

 

However, the big names that have come forward with mandating Covid-19 vaccinations do indicate the sectors that will continue to do so.

Neil says that any sector where employees have to work closely with one another have to be vaccinated.

“And then, of course, other sectors, like health care and age care, who are working closely with people and the vulnerable.”

Ian Neil, Barrister

 

Does discrimination play a role?

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it is up to the individual companies to decide if they want to mandate Covid-19 vaccinations for employees.

Concerns are spreading around discrimination in the workforce. Does it breach discrimination laws if someone loses their employment because they refuse the jab?

“In general, it’s not unlawful to discriminate against somebody on the ground they’re not vaccinated, and it’s not unlawful to discriminate in favour of someone who is.”

“But, there will be exceptions to that rule… if they have an underlying medical or psychological condition that makes it unsafe for them to be vaccinated.”

Ian Neil, Barrister

“No one will be forced to be vaccinated, that is something that is not lawful. People will always be able to choose not to be vaccinated.”

“But, there will be consequences that attach to that choice, and one of those consequences will be that they cannot get or continue in their employment, in cases where their employers require employees to be vaccinated.”

 

Ian Neil, Barrister

 

Changing employment landscape

Since the pandemic began, it has revolutionised the employment landscape live never before.

“Universal income support, that has never happened in this country [Australia] before, and has severed the connection between work and income.” 

Ian Neil, Barrister

 

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

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EU plans to force USB-C chargers for all phones

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EU plans to make USB-C connectors the standard port for all smartphones and tablets, angering Apple

The European Commission rules to force manufacturers to create a universal charging solution for phones and small electronic devices. The European Commission is aiming to have a common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets, cameras, headphones, and handheld videogame consoles.

The ruling has been in the making for a decade, with environmental concerns the main driving force behind the historic move.

Reducing waste

The rule will reduce waste by encouraging consumers to re-use existing chargers when buying a new device. Politicians have been pushing for this uni9versal charging rule for over a decade.

Disposed and unused charging cables generate approximately 11,000 tonnes of waste per year.  Research shows the average person owns around three mobile phone chargers.

A decade ago there were about 30 different types of chargers, now, phones use either USB-C, lightning, and USB micro-B.

Rotten Apple

The move would see all smartphones in the EU sold with the same charger, a motion Apple is not happy about. The tech giant says this move would damage ongoing innovation.

The tech giant is the main manufacturer of smartphones using a custom charging port, as its iPhone series uses an Apple-made “Lightning” connector. Apple argues its Lightning connector is used by one billion active iPhone users.

“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,”

Apple spokesperson

The proposed changes would apply to the charging port on the device body and will also standardise charging speeds. It may be a number of years before the proposals come into effect.

It will be thoroughly debated by the European Parliament and national Governments.

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Trade war fires up as U.S companies pass tariffs onto consumers

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Japan Exports

The trade war between the United States and China is continuing to heat up, but this hasn’t stopped American businesses from leaving the Chinese mainland

This all follows the US implementing tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese consumer products in a bid to bring manufacturing back to American shores.

A new report has found this is hurting the US economy and has not been successful in pressuring China to change any of its economic policies.

Meanwhile, businesses based in either China and America have remained “deeply integrated” with the other… with foreign investment into China hitting a record high of US$144.4 billion in 2020.

This comes as Joe Biden moves to review US policy towards China, including the previous policies of Donald Trump.

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Business

Energy prices soar for Europeans as winter chill approaches

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There are growing concerns for European residents as energy prices continue to skyrocket in the lead-up to winter

The wholesale prices of natural gas in Britain, France, Spain, Germany and Italy have reached record highs, with overall household bills now through the roof.

This all comes as the continent braces for a cold winter and fuel is needed for increased electricity generation.

Meanwhile, the Europen Consumer Organisation warns it has seen a huge price increase… saying “It’s worrying ahead of the winter when gas consumption will necessarily increase.”

This latest price hike is being caused by a number of factors… including a depletion of natural gas stockpiles during a cold spring and a growing demand for gas in China.

Russia is also supplying less gas to the market than it ever has before.

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