The introduction of Stage 4 Restrictions has meant that some businesses are required to close for 6 weeks, whilst others can remain open but in a ‘scaled back’ capacity, and other permitted industries can open but must have a COVID Safe Plan in place by midnight Friday 7 August.
Where can I find information regarding the Stage 4 Restrictions for Victoria?
The Business and Industry Stage 4 Restrictions page on the Department of Health and Human Services website is where employers can find information including a list of ‘Permitted Work Premises’. This list outlines the types of workplaces which are permitted activities and can remain open.
Employers will need to undertake their own assessment as to whether their business is a permitted work premises.
The assessment should be done carefully as there are penalties that apply to businesses that open where they are not a permitted work premises.
What if my business doesn’t quite fit into any of the permitted work premises listed in that document from the DHHS?
Business Victoria have set up a hotline for employers to call to discuss any ‘grey areas’:
A dedicated Industry Coordination Centre has been set up within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions to support businesses and consider ‘grey area’ cases to determine if businesses can safely operate under Stage 4 restrictions. To discuss your business, please call Business Victoria on 13 22 15.
See this link for further information: https://djpr.vic.gov.au/significant-projects/responding-to-coronavirus-covid-19
Who needs a Permit?
From 11:59pm on Wednesday 5 August, employers that require their staff to attend a work site must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility.
There are penalties that apply to employers who issue worker permits to employees who do not meet the requirements of the worker permit scheme or who otherwise breach the scheme requirements.
The permit must be carried when travelling to and from work and presented on request.
Further information is available here: https://www.justice.vic.gov.au/permitted-worker-scheme
Where can I find a Permitted Worker Permit?
Permitted Worker Permits can be found at this website: https://www.vic.gov.au/worker-permit-scheme
Where can I get a COVID Safe Plan?
As discussed above, permitted businesses that can remain open must have COVID Safe Plan in place by midnight on Friday 7 August.
Guidance materials and a template COVID Safe Plan are available on the Business Victoria website: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/disputes-disasters-and-succession-planning/covid-safe-business/covid-safe-plan-faqs
Further advice or assistance
For further advice or assistance on this topic, or any workplace relations matter, Employment Plus clients who have placed two or more candidates have free access to the Ai Group Workplace Advice Line.
Call 1300 862 217 8.30am – 5.15pm AEST Mon-Fri
The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing (5 August 2020) and does not constitute legal advice. Government regulations are subject to change, so it is recommended that employers check with the relevant government sources for up-to-date information.