From 11:59pm Wednesday 5 August, workplaces in Melbourne must be closed unless:

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. Advice on access to childcare for permitted workers is provided below.

Penalties of up to $19,826 (for individuals) and $99,132 (for businesses) will 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.

There will also be on-the-spot fines of up to $1,652 (for individuals) and up to $9,913 (for businesses) for anyone who breaches the scheme requirements. This includes employers, and employees who do not carry their worker permit when travelling to and from work.

Eligibility

Employers can issue a worker permit to their employee if:

In rare circumstances an employee does not need a worker permit. This includes:

  • if an employee is at risk at home, such as at risk of family violence
  • law enforcement, emergency services workers or health workers who carry employer-issued photographic identification, which clearly identifies the employer.

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.

Information employers will need

To issue a worker permit, employers will need:

  • 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
  • to meet all eligibility criteria, including that the business is a permitted activity
  • 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.

How to issue a worker permit

Each employee required to be on site must receive an individual worker permit with the required details.

Employers must:

  1. Download the template from this page and fill it out.
    • Employers must use this template for all worker permits issued under this scheme.
  2. Sign the worker permit. You can print and sign or sign it electronically.
    • Businesses must get an authorised person to sign the worker permit. This person might be the CEO, a HR manager, an operations manager or anyone else that is suitable.
    • They must be accountable for the details they provide.
    • They may be contacted by Victoria Police or other enforcement agencies to confirm the details.
  3. Ask the employee to sign the worker permit. They can print and sign or sign electronically.
    • You can email or text the worker permit to your employee.
    •  An employee may travel to work without a worker permit once to get their first permit.

You do not need to send the worker permit to any Victorian Government department/agency.

Carrying a permit

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.

Further details

 

Casual workers

Employers may need to issue worker permits for specified date ranges for employees who do not have regular hours.

If this means that employers need to issue separate worker permits for new rostering periods, the employee will need to carry their old worker permit, to ensure authorities can verify with their employer that they are on their way to work.

 

Picking up shifts and last-minute shift changes

Employees that are unexpectedly called in outside of their specified hours can attend their workplace.

They will need to carry the worker permit they do have, to ensure authorities can verify with their employer that they are on their way to work.

 

Working across multiple sites

Each employer must determine who will be authorised to issue their employees a worker permit.

For an employer with multiple work sites, they may decide to designate an authorised person at each work site.

Employers should minimise any requirement for employees to work at different sites.

An employee working at more than one site must keep a log of the places visited including date, time and place of attendance.

 

Working from home

Employers are responsible for determining whether an employee can work from home.

If you are concerned that your workplace is unsafe for you to attend, you should contact WorkSafe (External link).

In rare circumstances where an employee is at risk at home, an employee does not need a worker permit. This includes in a situation of family violence.

 

Transport to and from work

An adult can take an essential worker to and from their place of work without a worker permit, if the worker is their dependant and unable to transport themselves.

If needed, authorities must be able to confirm that travel is in accordance with the worker permit.

 

Sole trader

Sole traders must issue a worker permit and sign the worker permit as both the employer and employee.

 

Sub contractors

The employer of the sub-contractor needs to be satisfied that the sub-contractor is required on-site.

The employer may be the main contractor, or it may be that the sub-contractor is a sole trader.

 

Franchisees

The person or entity who must issue the worker permit is determined by who is the employer under the franchise agreement. If the franchisee is the employer, they will be responsible for issuing the permit.

 

International or national organisations

From 11.59pm on Wednesday 5 August, you should not attend work without a worker permit.

If your employer has not been in contact about a worker permit, you should contact your manager or human resources department and ask them to arrange a worker permit.

Childcare permit

From Thursday 6 August, only the children of permitted workers and vulnerable kids will be able to access childcare and kinder. 

For the purposes of childcare and kinder, a permitted worker can also include someone working from home. This does not apply to every worker working from home - only those working in permitted industries (External link).

This section provides information to parents and guardians on how they can seek a permit to access childcare. Early childhood providers should use these permits to enable access to care.

Permitted workers (External link) are able to access onsite childcare and kinder if there is no one else in their household who is able to supervise their child/ren. For example, a permitted worker in a single parent household may access childcare and kinder.

If there is another carer in the household, permitted workers can still access onsite childcare if the other parent/carer cannot supervise the child/ren. This could be for a number of reasons - for example, their partner or co-parent:

  • has a medical condition, or chronic illness which prevents them from caring for the child
  • has a disability
  • is completing full time study and must attend onsite
  • works from home, but in a role that means they cannot supervise the child/ren - resulting in the permitted worker not being able to do their job.

Both carers do not have to be permitted workers to access childcare - but we are asking that Victorians only access childcare and kinder services if they have to.

In line with the above, permitted workers are also able to continue with pre-existing in-home care arrangements if there is no one else in their household who is able to supervise their child.

Grandparents and elderly relatives play an important part in caring for children, but may be particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. We strongly advise these types of care arrangements are avoided where possible.

We know that living with coronavirus is challenging for lots of families, but as Victorians understand we must do everything we can to keep families together – by staying at home and slowing the spread of the virus.

In-home childcare

Permitted workers (External link) whether they are working onsite or from home, may maintain existing arrangements for in-home childcare if their children cannot otherwise be cared for during work hours by the employee or another responsible member of the household. These arrangements can be paid or unpaid.

New arrangements are not permitted and only one person may enter the house at any one time for the purposes of providing in-home child care.

People in at-risk cohorts, such as grandparents or elderly relatives, are strongly advised not to participate in in-home child care arrangements and should limit their movement as much as possible.

For workers who need to work onsite

The Permitted Worker Permit (including childcare) form includes an addendum for permitted workers who are still required to attend work onsite and who don’t have anyone else in the household who can supervise their children.

Reasons for this might include the other parent also being a permitted worker or because it is a single parent household.

The employee is required to fill the childcare section of the form out. You must tick the box indicating you are seeking access to onsite childcare and kindergarten.

You do not need to carry the Permitted Worker Permit (including childcare) in addition to the Permitted Worker Permit – only one document is required.

If you are not seeking access to childcare as a permitted worker, you can continue to use the Permitted Worker Permit form.

For workers working from home

The Access to Childcare and Kinder (Working from Home) form is for permitted workers who are working from home and are unable to supervise their children in the course of their duties and who don’t have anyone else in the household who can supervise them.

Reasons for this might include the other parent also being a permitted worker or because it is a single parent household.

The employee and employer are required to fill this form out.

More information

Please contact Business Victoria on 13 22 15 if you have a specific question that can’t be answered by the information above. Please note that Business Victoria is experiencing very high call volumes at this time, and there may be an extended wait before your call is answered.

Information on WorkSafe requirements can be found at https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19 (External link).

For other information about the restrictions contact the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 675 398 (External link) or visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus (External link).

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