Bosses want to fire staff who refuse coronavirus vaccine

The doctor is injecting male patients.In the medical's hand have syringes.
Australia has signed a deal for a promising Covid-19 vaccine. Image: Getty

Australian businesses are calling for the right to fire employees who refuse to take the coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available as the government considers how to encourage widespread uptake.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said around 95 per cent of the population needs to be vaccinated for the vaccine to be effective as he announced the Government had signed a letter of intent which would see Oxford medical firm AstraZeneca provide the country with its vaccine.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is considered one of the most promising vaccines and should it pass trials, will be administered to all Australians for free.

Now, business owners are also calling for the Covid-19 vaccine to be made compulsory.

“If one of my staff members says, ‘No, I’m against it’, then I’m going to have to say, ‘I’m sorry you are a threat to my business,’” the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia CEO Peter Strong told 7NEWS.

“If you don’t sack them, you don’t have a business, especially if you’re in a high contact area where you’ve got a lot of customers.”

“It’s not discrimination, that’s a business decision.”

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the government was open to policies which would see Aussies stripped of JobSeeker payments if they refused the inoculation.

“Our first goal is to encourage as many Australians as possible and I’m confident that with a vaccine that can save lives and protect lives…very large numbers of Australians will take it up,” Hunt said.

“But we reserve the right, subject to medical advice, to take steps that might assist.”

Morrison said Australians can’t afford to be selfish in this instance.

“You have got to do it for yourself, your family and for your fellow Australians,” Morrison said.