Charity workers abused over vague Queensland Health mandate
Workers at Link Vision charity op shops have reported receiving threats, abuse and accusations of racial vilification after attempting to enforce the use of masks in stores, in line with health directives.
CEO Terry O’Neil emailed Neil Breen about his issue, stating “my staff have endured abuse, accusations of racial vilification, harrassment from people not wanting to comply.”
Talking to Neil on air, Mr O’Neil said Queensland Health could not provide a clear answer on whether stores are expected to enforce the mandate.
While it is mandatory to wear masks in public indoor places across Greater Brisbane, retail and hospitality workers enforcing the rules are left in a grey zone.
Patrons are not required to present medical certificates as evidence they have a lawful reason for not wearing a face mask.
In fact, Queensland Health stated requests to see medical certificates could result in unlawful discrimination.
But Mr O’Neil said this can create a loophole making the mandate arbitrary.
“Almost anybody could go into a shop and say they’ve got a medical exemption.”
Queensland Health response:
You do not need a medical certificate to prove you have a lawful reason for not wearing a face mask.
If a service provider, school or employer asks for a medical certificate to confirm you have a lawful medical reason for not wearing a mask before entering their premises, this may amount to unlawful discrimination.
Whether it is lawful will depend on whether asking you to provide a medical certificate is reasonably necessary to protect the health and safety of other people, such as other customers or employees.
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