Work permits required in Melbourne from today

From today all Melbourne employers that have been permitted to operate on-site during the Stage 4 coronavirus lockdown must ensure their staff have a valid work permit with matching photo ID and they have until Friday midnight to have an up-to-date COVID Safe Plan in place.

To apply for the work permit, employers can download the form which is on Victoria’s Department of Human and Health Services website, here.

To access Victorian government advice about how to ensure your COVID Safe Plan is up-to-date and correct, please click here.

The printing and support services industries as well as pulp, paper and converted paper product manufacturing were given the go-ahead to continue to operate on-site late on Monday so long as strict workplace health and safety rules are met.

The Real Media Collective has been liaising directly with the Victorian government and has issued a handy guide to ensure businesses in the printing industry are aware of what they need to do to be compliant.

Permitted Worker Scheme

It is up to employers to ensure their staff have a valid work permit and matching photo ID to ensure they can travel to and from the place of work. To download the form for the permit please click here.

To gain a permit, employers will need to provide:

  • name, ABN, company address and trading name
  • the name and date of birth of the employee
  • the employee’s regular hours and place of work (in regards to varying shifts – employees that are unexpectedly called in outside of their specified hours can attend their workplace, however maintain the original worker permit for authorities to contact the place of employment for verification) and (for casual workers – employers may need to issue worker permits for specified date ranges for employees who do not have regular hours)
  • to meet all eligibility criteria, including that the business is a permitted activity these are outlined in the government website link below.
  • to meet all relevant legal obligations
  • to have a COVID-19 Safe plan in place
  • to authorise a person or people to issue the worker permit.

COVID Safe Plan

Having an up-to-date COVID Safe Plan by midnight Friday is required. This plan must be updated regularly unless you have a small business with less than five employees. The plan must demonstrate how you would prepare for and respond to an outbreak of COVID-19 on your site.

Other criteria include:

  • Ensure a satisfactorily socially distanced work areas of four square metres per employee;
  • Ensure shift cross-overs are limited or have no contact;
  • Ensure public access to print sites is prohibited;

Click here for Victorian government information on setting up your COVID Safe Plan.

The Victorian government’s listing of industry sectors that are closed or open for on-site work indicates that those permitted to remain open needed to ensure a 33 per cent staff reduction, compared to peak capacity. There has been some confusion over this and it appears this relates specifically to the meat works and abbatoir industries, but The Real Media Collective has sought clarity on this.

The Real Media Collective’s general manager of IR and Governance Charles Watson is able to help you if assistance is needed with this.

The risk of non-compliance

There are hefty fines for individuals and companies that do not comply with the work permit and COVID Safe Plan rules.

Businesses face fines of up to $99,132 if they do not ensure their staff are carrying a valid work permit.

Employees also face on-the-spot fines of up to $1652 if they are not carrying their permit.

Compliance with new WorkSafe Victoria measures is mandatory with steep fines (up to $39,652 for an individual or $198,264 for a corporate) for non-compliance. Watson says print operators must notify WorkSafe Victoria if an employee or contractor tests positive for coronavirus and visited the operation within the infectious period (being 14 days prior to receiving the confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and until clearance from isolation has been received).

The same goes for sole traders who test positive to the virus and attended the workplace within the infectious period (being 14 days prior to receiving the confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and until clearance from isolation has been received).

To view the list of sectors and how they are impacted, please click here.

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2 thoughts on “Work permits required in Melbourne from today

  1. Not Victoria, – Melbourne!

    Regional Victoria is under stage 3. Please don’t put us in the same predicament as Melbourne.

    1. Thanks Kay, we have corrected the story to say Melbourne employees only needing the permit. Apologies and best wishes to all.

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