The federal government has been warned employers are "terrified" by a lack of clarity over vaccine mandates, as new data shows most workers support extra freedoms for vaccinated Australians.
A survey of 1000 workers by Employment Hero also found they were unimpressed with the national vaccine rollout, which they believed had been botched by confusing messaging from the federal government.
The report showed support for vaccine passports (71 per cent), already a feature of life in France and Israel, dwarfed opposition to the idea (16 per cent). Support was highest in the two states to have endured Australia's longest lockdowns, NSW (77 per cent) and Victoria (70 per cent).
READ MORE COVID-19 NEWS:
Less than a quarter of workers (22 per cent) believed their employer should be able to mandate vaccinations, but Employment Hero chief executive Ben Thompson denied the results were a disconnect.
"Australians want to retain their sense of freedom," he told The Canberra Times.
"I'm all for giving people who are vaccinated special privileges, like international travel. [But] people deserve the right to choose what they put into their bodies."
Vaccinations will be compulsory for aged care workers from next month, amid talk of the rule being expanded to other essential sectors.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has flagged legal protections for businesses that don't mandate the vaccine. But no indemnity for employers opting to mandate vaccines has been confirmed.
Qantas has also pushed ahead with its own plan to mandate vaccines for its workers, despite warnings the prospect would be legally fraught.
But Mr Thompson claimed employers were "terrified" by a lack of clarity, which left them in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" position.
"Employers want to protect their business and their community, but also don't want to be liable if a vaccine-related injury were to occur at their command," he said.
"It's still not clear what employers legally can and can't do in regards to staff vaccination and what protections are in place.
"Until they receive more leadership from the government on this I think you'll find employers in non-essential industries will remain cautious to advise their staff on COVID-19 vaccination."
READ MORE COVID-19 NEWS:
Employers in microbusinesses, with two to nine employees, were almost twice as likely to actively discourage workers from getting vaccinated.
Mr Thompson was unsurprised by the result, given small businesses owners were more familiar with their staff.
But Mr Thompson, a former employment lawyer, warned against blurring professional and personal boundaries.
"It's probably more a case of small business owners feeling more emboldened to share personal sentiments with their team, regardless of the subject," he said.
"I've met plenty of business owners who view their team as family ... [but] I've observed how relationships like that can quickly become risky."
More broadly, Australian workers overwhelmingly felt they were not pressured by their employer to avoid the vaccine. Over 80 per cent reported they had not discussed getting the jab with their work (53 per cent) or had been actively encouraged to do so (29 per cent).
A slight majority believed the federal government had failed to handle the rollout properly, and viewed confused messaging over vaccines as a factor.
Over half (52 per cent) believed their state had acted decisively to counter the Delta strain. But workers in NSW, where Premier Gladys Berejiklian faced criticism for a delayed lockdown, were 63 per cent more likely to disagree than the national average.
A quarter of unimmunised workers said they could not access their preferred vaccine, likely Pfizer given fears over extremely rare blood clotting linked to AstraZeneca.
Another quarter were waiting until vaccines had been in circulation for longer.