Coronavirus (COVID-19)Updates and resources
This template has an example date range up to 7 September. Please note this can be changed to suit current date periods.
New COVIDSafe Plan released by Victorian Government
25 September 2020
The Victorian Government has released roadmaps for reopening for how we live and work in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, providing a long-term plan for our path out of restrictions and into COVID Normal.
As part of our plans to support industry to safely reopen and get Victorians back to work, the Victorian Government has developed a COVIDSafe Plan template to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace.
Every Victorian business that is open for on-site operations must have a COVIDSafe Plan.
To ensure compliance, random spot checks are already underway in metropolitan Melbourne and will commence in regional Victoria from 29 September 2020.
If you own a business in a high-risk industry, you must have a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan.
High-risk industries include: construction, warehousing and distribution, supermarket and medical distribution centres, abattoirs and meat processing facilities.
A COVIDSafe Plan is one of the ways you can help prevent and manage outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19) at your workplace and in your community.
Business owners in Victoria are being asked to play their part in slowing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by developing a COVIDSafe Plan and adhering to other workplace requirements. Please share this messaging with your stakeholders and encourage them to communicate the important need for businesses to have a COVIDSafe Plan in place.
The Victorian Government is providing a range of resources and guidelines to support businesses to reopen safely. Please stay up-to-date on the latest advice for creating a COVIDSafe workplace at Business Victoria.
The Victorian Government has also announced a new $3 billion support package to help businesses survive and keep Victorians in jobs as we progress along the roadmap to COVID Normal. This includes cash grants, tax relief and cashflow support that will be delivered to Victorian businesses that have been most affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.
For more information on the support available to Victorian businesses and how to apply, please visit Business Victoria.
Third round of the Business Support Fund is open for applications (Victoria only)
Released 19 September 2020
It includes $822 million for a third round of the Business Support Fund which will help around 75,000 small and medium sized businesses that must remain closed or operate under restrictions in line with the Victorian Government’s ‘How we work’ roadmaps.
Eligible businesses will receive grants of either $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 depending on the business’ annual payroll.
To be eligible, businesses must already employ staff and have a payroll of up to $10 million. Full details on eligibility and how to apply are set out on the Business Support Fund webpage.
Applications will remain open until funds are exhausted or 11.59pm on 23 November 2020, whichever is earlier.
Small and medium businesses make an enormous contribution to the Victorian economy and the Business Resilience Package includes a range of cashflow support, payroll tax deferrals and fee waivers to help businesses through this challenging time.
High Risk COVIDSafe Plan
Released 10 August 2020
Agriculture Victoria have provided the below update and link for our Victorian members.
If you are an abattoir or meat processing (including seafood and poultry), you must complete a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan regardless of where you operate in Victoria.
DHHS Workplace Directions
Released 5 August 2020
The purpose of these directions is to limit the number of Victorians attending work premises to assist in reducing the frequency and scale of outbreaks of COVID-19 in Victorian workplaces and to establish more specific obligations on employers and workers in relation to managing the risk associated with COVID-19.
Business and industry stage 4 restrictions – metropolitan Melbourne
Published 5 August 2020
Unless an exception applies, only Permitted Work Premises may operate with on-site operations during the restricted activity period in the Restricted Area, and only to the extent permitted.
Employers for Permitted Work Premises are only permitted to have employees on-site if it is not reasonably practicable for the employee to work from home and the employer and employee comply with the Directions currently in force, including the Workplace Directions and the Permitted Worker Permit Scheme Directions.
Where a Permitted Work Premises is able to operate on-site, additional restrictions may apply as listed below and in the Directions.
To avoid doubt, the following are Permitted Work Premises in the following circumstances:
- Ancillary and support businesses are able to open on-site to ensure the necessary production, supply, manufacture, repair, maintenance, cleaning, security, wholesale, distribution, transportation or sale of equipment, goods or services required for the operations of a Permitted Work Premises, or for Closed Work Premises where there are safety or environmental obligations. The business cannot operate on-site for any other purpose.
- Services and ancillary services that relate to the COVID-19 health response are Permitted Work Premises.
- Services connected with animal health, husbandry or welfare, including the RSPCA, are Permitted Work Premises.
- Union/peak body/employer organisation officials attending a worksite as permitted by law or for Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) advice is permitted.
Permitted worker scheme – metropolitan Melbourne
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.
Employers can issue a worker permit to their employee if:
- the organisation is on the list of permitted activities
- the employee is working in an approved category for on-site work, and
- the employee cannot work from home.
Employees must carry the worker permit and should carry photo identification when travelling to and from the workplace. A worker permit can be shown electronically to authorities such as a photo, or scanned copy, on a mobile device.
An employee must not use a worker permit, even if they have been issued one, if:
- they test positive to coronavirus (COVID-19) and are required to self-isolate
- they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.
Safe Work Australia Resources
Safe Work Australia has issued updated guidance on a range of COVID-19 working practices, including the latest advice on masks and PPE for all industries.
One way to slow the spread of the virus is social distancing.
We have compiled the guidelines from the Australian Government Department of Health website on social distancing, and created a poster for you to download and put up in your business. Together we can help to stop the spread of the virus.
Resources for Businesses
As at April 2020 – Please see above for latest updates
The material on this webpage has been compiled from both State and Federal government sources. It does not constitute legal advice or recommendations and should not be relied upon as such. Appropriate legal advice should be sought that reflects your individual circumstances.
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