Under the Stage 4 restrictions in Victoria, there are new requirements for businesses that are able to remain operational. Key points that you MUST know are below.
ALL companies must have a register of everyone who attends the workplace for 15 minutes or more. And by everyone, we mean EVERYONE!
If you don’t already have a template in use, click here to download a template sourced from the Victorian Government.
WORKPLACE REPORTING OBLIGATIONS
Further to the above, if anyone on this register (employee, contractor, supplier, employee of contractor etc.) tests positive to Covid19, IT IS A NOTIFIABLE INCIDENT TO WORKSAFE regardless of whether they are your employee or not.
An employer must notify WorkSafe as soon as they become aware that:
Significant fines for failing to notify with the maximum fine payable for failure to inform WorkSafe of a COVID-19 diagnosis is $39,652 for individual employers, or $198,264 for a body corporate. The new Regulations came into force on 28 July 2020 and will remain in place for 12 months.
To notify WorkSafe of a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnosis, employers or self-employed persons should call the WorkSafe advisory service on 13 23 60.
COVID SAFE PLAN
If you report a case of COVID-19, Worksafe will then take action just as they would any other notifiable incident. Your COVID safe plan will absolutely be key here as will every single employee knowing it back to front and the plan actually being implemented and followed.
Your COVID Safe Plan must incorporate the following:
Again, significant fines will be in place and if a business is found to have a sub-standard plan, or there isn’t one in place and being used, or employees were not trained in it (and this is documented) this would classify as negligence as well as a significant breach of OH&S. If someone passed away as a direct result of this, the Workplace Manslaughter charges could be applicable. Currently there is no information on whether this would extend to any deaths that are a result of any cluster that subsequently occurred offsite.
PERMIT FOR WORKERS
Our final update relates to the requirement that from 11:59 pm tonight (Wednesday, 5 August 2020) all businesses that are operational and are identified as permitted work sites under the legislation and have employees that are required to travel to or for work (i.e. they can not work from home), must complete Permitted Worker Permits. These permits must be carried by employees at all times and will be required to be produced if stopped to ensure they meet the required eligibility criteria to be outside of their home.
Fines of almost $100k for the business and over $19k for an individual are in place for anyone found to provide misleading information for the purposes of the permit.
We have provided a link here to the Word version of the permit for you, as the Government website is crashing!
PERMITTED WORK ACTIVITIES
In our update earlier this week, we shared information as to how industries will be impacted by the increased restrictions. Please ensure that you are only operating if you are permitted to do so under the Stage 4 Restrictions. Under Stage 4 ‘Stay at Home’ Restrictions the default is that workplaces in metropolitan Melbourne are closed unless the workplace is a permitted industry as set out in the document provided. Please be very clear on whether you are permitted to be ‘open’ or if you are closed and all employees can only work from home if practicable.
Click here for the document outlining the categories and contact HR Staff n' Stuff if you are in anyway unsure - this is not the time to try to manoeuvre around the directives as you will get caught and you will be penalised.
This update is not intended to scare anyone. But you must take these Government directions seriously as all penalties and consequences will be harsher than before as we are now in Stage 4 and a State of Disaster. If you require any guidance or support, please contact HR Staff n'Stuff immediately so we can make sure you are set up correctly for the deadline at 11:59pm Wedensday, 5 August.
The HR Staff n' Stuff team all contribute to our blogs. Enjoy the read!