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Essential worker permits

Worker permits will be required for essential workers during stage 4 lockdown.
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Essential worker permits

Essential worker permits

10 August 2020

With Melbourne’s coronavirus cases spiking to 725 on the eve of the Victorian State government shutting business for six weeks, worker permits will be required for those deemed essential workers during the stage 4 lockdown.

From 6 August, employers who are eligible to continue trading must issue a worker permit to their employees – with responsibility for the work permits entrusted to employers. Permitted workers will need a separate work permit to continue accessing childcare.

The worker permit forms are available to download from the Department of Health and Human Services, Business Victoria and the Department of Justice.

How to issue a permit

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 have a COVID-19 safe plan in place.

Your business must then:
  1. Download the template and fill it out.
  2. The CEO, HR manager or operations manager must sign the worker permit. You can print and sign or sign it electronically.
  3. Ask the employee to sign the worker permit and carry with them to and from work.

For businesses with rotating casual workers who do not have regular hours, a specified date range for employees should be included on the worker permit.

Employers are also required to ensure employees work at a single site to minimise exposure across multiple work sites.

Are there exceptions?

The exceptions to issuing a valid worker permit are if an employee tests positive to coronavirus and is required to self-isolate, or if they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.

Who is impacted?

Industries that can continue operating on-site during the shutdown until 13 September include supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations, liquor stores, post offices, hardware and building supplies for trade, manufacturers of food and medical supplies, and those providing health, banking and utility services.

What if the restrictions are breached?

Victoria's Chief Police Commissioner Shane Patton insisted there would be consequences for those companies flouting the work restrictions.   

Penalties of up to $19,826 (for individuals) and $99,132 (for businesses) will apply for those who breach the scheme and wrongly issue work permits to industries instructed to close.

The threat of on-the-spot fines of up to $1,652 (for individuals) and up to $9,913 (for businesses) also loom for both employers and employees who do not carry their worker permit when travelling to and from work.

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