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COVIDSafe Plan FAQs

Frequently asked questions to help you understand what a COVIDSafe Plan is and your obligations as an employer.

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  • COVIDSafe Plan FAQs

A COVIDSafe Plan supports a business in the protection of its staff, customers and visitors. It also prepares for a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace.

A comprehensive COVIDSafe Plan will set out:

  • Your actions to help prevent the introduction of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace
  • The level of face-covering or personal protective equipment (PPE) required for your workforce
  • How you will prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace.

Every Victorian business that is open must have a COVIDSafe Plan.

To ensure compliance random spot checks are underway in metropolitan Melbourne and will commence in regional Victoria from 29 September 2020.

If you are in a high-risk industry, you are required to complete a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan.

High-risk industries include: construction, warehousing and distribution, supermarket and medical distribution centres, abattoirs and meat processing facilities.

Failure to comply could result in an on the spot fine of up $9,913 and up to $20,000 for serious offences.

As Victoria begins its path towards a COVID normal, there will be an easing of restrictions and changes to how permitted businesses can operate. To find out if your business can operate under the current restriction levels, please visit:

  • Have a COVIDSafe Plan in place that is regularly updated.
  • Ensure that any workers that can work from home are able to do so.
  • Collect records of all workers, subcontractors, customers and clients attending the work premises for 15 minutes or longer (certain exemptions will apply).
  • One worker per four square metres of enclosed workspace or in shared areas.
  • Employers must ensure that workers do not work across multiple sites, unless it is not practicable to limit workers to one site only.
  • If it is not practicable to limit a worker to only one work site, or if the worker has multiple employers, then the worker must declare this to their employer(s). The employer(s) must maintain a record of all workers who work across multiple work premises..
  • If your worker is unwell, send them home and direct them to be tested. They must stay home until they have their result. Financial support is available for workers who need to isolate or quarantine.
  • Report any positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), WorkSafe, Health and Safety Representatives, and notify your workforce.
  • Regularly clean your facilities, shared spaces and provide additional cleaning supplies.
  • Undertake risk assessments for cleaning and the potential closure of your workplace in certain situations.

  • Know your workplace’s COVIDSafe Plan and understand what’s required
  • If you can work from home, you must work from home
  • If you need to travel to work, you must have a permit
  • Check that you are feeling well before starting your shift – you cannot work if you are unwell
  • Provide your details to your employer when you start your shift for record keeping purposes
  • Only work at one location – you cannot work across multiple worksites
  • Notify your employer if you intend to work at a different worksite
  • If you are feeling unwell, go home and get tested
  • Tell your employer if you test positive to coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Regularly clean equipment and shared spaces.

The following industries are, in addition to their COVIDSafe Plan, required to have a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan with enhanced obligations:

  • Construction
  • Warehousing and distribution centres
  • Abattoirs and meat processing
  • Medical and Pharmaceutical supply business
  • Supermarket Distribution business

Employers that require their staff to attend a work site in metropolitan Melbourne as part of a permitted activity, 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.

Businesses that remain closed under the current restrictions do not need a COVIDSafe Plan, however a plan will be required to reopen. Businesses are encouraged to start developing their plans now, in preparation for a safe opening when in line with Victoria’s roadmap for reopening. To find out when your business will be required to open visit:

A dedicated Industry Coordination Centre has been set up within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions to support businesses and consider uncertain cases to determine if businesses can safely operate. Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15 for more information on exemptions.

If your business is closed, you can only visit to:

  • ensure the facility is safely closed
  • support employees who are working from home (i.e. organising I.T. equipment to be delivered to their home)
  • address an emergency or otherwise required by law.

Emergency maintenance is also permitted.

There are no specific exemptions provided for businesses that have existing contractual obligations. Work to fulfil existing contractual obligations is only allowed to proceed if it is for a Permitted Work Premises or is an ancillary necessary to support the operations of a Permitted Work Premises or for Closed Work Premises where there are safety or environmental obligations.

Yes, if you are already employed and provided that the work you are doing is classified as permitted. You must have a valid Worker Permit in order to travel to regional Victoria.

Your COVIDSafe Plan should recognise that while working in regional Victoria, you must operate to the current restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne. This means that if a permitted worker travels into regional Victoria for work – their restrictions travel with them. For example, a permitted worker who has travelled from metropolitan Melbourne to work can’t visit a restaurant, have a beauty treatment or access any service that isn’t currently available in metropolitan Melbourne.

No. If your workplace is closed under Step One in metropolitan Melbourne (i.e. not a permitted workplace), you can only visit:

  • to ensure the premises is closed safely
  • to support employees who are working from home (e.g. organising IT equipment to be delivered to their homes)
  • in an emergency or if otherwise required by law
  • to carry out emergency maintenance.

For more information on the restricted activity levels and roadmaps for reopening, visit vic.gov.au.

If your workplace is closed under Step One in metropolitan Melbourne (i.e. not a permitted workplace), you can only visit:

  • to ensure the premises is closed safely
  • to support employees who are working from home (e.g. organising IT equipment to be delivered to their homes)
  • in an emergency or if otherwise required by law
  • to carry out emergency maintenance.

Staff numbers must be kept to the absolute minimum required and will need to be issued with Permitted Worker Permits. You must also have a COVIDSafe Plan in place.

Information about the Permitted Worker Scheme and COVIDSafe Plans (including a template) are available on our website.

Subcontractors must complete their own COVIDSafe Plan for the worksite they are working on, even if that worksite is shared with another employer.

There may be some site-specific elements of a COVIDSafe Plan that a subcontractor is not able to fill out themselves if they do not manage the site (such as screening and collecting records of all site visitors). In such instances, it is recommended that the subcontractor adopt the site-specific elements of the main employer or operator of the worksite to ensure that they are consistent.

You must not car-pool to and from work with a person with whom you do not ordinarily reside, unless it is not otherwise reasonable and practical for either person to get to work (e.g. you don’t have a licence or access to a car).

Where possible, other arrangements, such as getting driven to and from work by another household member, should be made.

The enclosed space of a car presents a heightened risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). If traveling in a car with someone who is not part of your household, you should sit in the back seat in order to maintain physical distancing, and wear a face covering in the car.

Increased ventilation in the vehicle is advised by not having air on recirculate and opening windows wherever possible. High touch surfaces in the vehicle should be cleaned and sanitised regularly.

Yes. Free, short, accredited training is available to help staff identify and manage the ongoing risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in the workplace. Free infection control training will help businesses prepare to safely reopen and ensure their customers and workforce are protected.