Impact of Stage 4 restrictions on Victorian employers

With the introduction of Stage 4 restrictions in Victoria, employers are facing additional requirements if they are to continue operating.

Whilst some businesses will be required to completely stop their operations, others will be allowed to continue operating, subject to additional obligations, including having in place a COVID Safe Plan.

A COVID Safe Plan, which will need to be updated regularly, must set out:

  • the employer’s actions to help prevent the introduction of coronavirus in their workplace
  • the level of face-covering or personal protective equipment (PPE) required for their workforce
  • how the employer will prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus in the workplace

In addition to having a COVID Safe Plan, businesses permitted to operate during Stage 4 restrictions will also need to:

  • ensure employees work from home where possible
  • collect records of all workers, subcontractors, customers and clients who attend the work premises for 15 minutes or longer (certain exemptions will apply)
  • ensure there are four square meters per one worker in enclosed workspace or in shared areas
  • ensure that workers do not work across multiple sites or for multiple employers (subject to exemptions)
  • report any positive cases of coronavirus to DHHS, Worksafe, Health and Safety Representatives as well as notifying the workforce
  • regularly clean facilities and shared spaces
  • undertake risk assessments for cleaning and the potential closure of the workplace

Premier Daniel Andrews announced today that those employees who will be deemed as essential workers and who will continue attending their place of work, will need to carry permits signed off by their employer. The permit paperwork is expected to be made available online later today.

The Federal Government also announced that a $1,500 “disaster payment” will be available for workers who are required to self-isolate because of coronavirus but who do not have leave entitlements. For now, the payment will only be available to Victorian employees and workers will be able to apply for the payment from tomorrow.

If you require any assistance in navigating the new restrictions, please do not hesitate to contact us.