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Professional, Scientific and Technical Services sector guidance

Sector guidance for Professional, Scientific and Technical services within metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

See below for up to date operational guidance and frequently asked questions for this sector.

For frequently asked questions that applies to all businesses go to our

Business Operating Reductions - Medical Supply and Pharmaceutical Businesses

Step One restrictions

What are the new restrictions for medical supply businesses?

From 11:59pm on 13 September 2020 the following changes will need to be adopted by Melbourne medical supply distribution businesses.

Each medical supply and pharmaceutical distribution business will:

  • enact a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan focused on safety, prevention and response if coronavirus cases are linked to their workplace
  • reduce the number of people working across their business
  • increase the regularity of deep cleaning
  • enforce the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment by staff on site
  • where practicable COVIDSafe Plans should be designed with input from employees and their representatives

Employees will be:

  • prohibited from car-pooling to and from work
  • able to work at only one premises
  • required to inform their employer if they share accommodation with anyone working at another high-risk workplace.

Application

Do the restrictions apply to all medical supply businesses?

No. Exemptions are in place for facilities that are licensed under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966 for the supply of medicines listed under Schedules 2, 3, 4, and 8 and facilities that distribute medical devices and consumables that are registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

Reduced operations requirement

What is the level of operation for medical supply businesses?

Medical supply and pharmaceutical businesses must reduce the number of workers by 33 per cent of their daily peak and daily total workforce within their distribution operations.

To provide flexibility, the number of workers can be reduced through any part of the medical supply business. For example, if a medical supply business’ daily peak workforce capacity is 300 workers and daily total workforce capacity is 600 workers in its distribution operations – then it must reduce its daily peak workforce capacity by 100 workers and daily total workforce capacity by 200 workers. However, these reductions can be made across any part of the medical supply business, not just its distribution operations.

What is the definition of reduced operations requirements and peak capacity?

A daily peak workforce capacity is calculated by taking the average of the highest number of workers on site at any given time on each day over:

  • July 2020; or
  • any three-month sequential period in the last 12 months.

A daily total workforce capacity is calculated by taking the average of the total number of workers on site on each day over:

  • July 2020; or
  • any three-month sequential period in the last 12 months.

What is the definition of a worker?

Workers refers to people working on a site including, but not limited to, owners, managers, employees, contractors, workers on labour hire and security.

It does not include workers undertaking emergency repairs and maintenance.

It does not include staff specifically dedicated to oversight of COVIDSafe functions in the workplace e.g. workers doing additional cleaning of high-touch points or overseeing the implementation of COVIDSafe practices.

Documentation

What documentation is required?

Specified worksite operators will be required to declare in an attachment to their COVIDSafe Plan:

  • the location and nature of the activities undertaken at sites intended to continue restricted operations;
  • the peak workforce capacity levels calculated for each site and the time period used to establish these levels;
  • the restricted workforce levels proposed for each site during the restriction period calculated in compliance with the order; and
  • that the operator will retain and agrees to make available for inspection the business records and calculations used to establish the restricted workforce levels and demonstrate compliance with those restricted workforce levels through the period to which the restriction apply.

Compliance and enforcement

Government is introducing a specified worksite reporting regime supported by independent compliance reviews and site inspections. The process is being established to ensure the specified worksites comply with the intent of the order and can provide independently verifiable evidence of their compliance during and after the restriction period.

What documentation do I need to retain?

The COVIDSafe Plan and attachment (as specified above) must be retained and be available for inspection on request. It will not be otherwise be submitted to or endorsed by the Victorian Government.

Operators will also be required to retain and make available for inspection evidence of the peak workforce capacity level determined, including roster, time and attendance, payroll and other site attendance records.

Who will enforce these restrictions?

Authorised officers will be undertaking site inspections for workplaces subject to reduced operation requirements to ensure they are complying and have a complete High Risk COVIDSafe Plan.

How will compliance be monitored?

Site operators will be randomly selected for independent compliance review and asked to demonstrate compliance with the order. To facilitate these compliance reviews which will take place both during and after the Stage 4 restriction period, operators will be required to retain and make available for inspection site rosters, time and attendance data, payroll data and other site attendance records as requested.

Compliance reviews will be conducted by independent agents appointed by the Victorian Government for this purpose.

Frequently asked questions - regional Victoria

Read below for commonly asked questions by businesses within the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services sector. The following frequently asked questions apply to regional Victoria. Find out more about Victoria’s roadmap for reopening.

Valuations and assessments should be completed virtually.

Frequently asked questions - metropolitan Melbourne

Updated on: 31 August 2020

Read below for commonly asked questions by businesses within the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services sector. The following frequently asked questions apply to metropolitan Melbourne, which is currently at Step One of Victoria’s roadmap for reopening.

No, you cannot work onsite.

You can collect essential equipment or supplies if they are necessary for working from home. A worker may also access the premises for carrying out emergency maintenance of necessary infrastructure, such as IT servers.

Only the worker required for the activity must attend and they must have a valid permit for the time required to complete the task. They cannot stay and work from the workplace. Physical mail should no longer be sent or received. If it is unavoidable, it should be diverted to workers’ homes or to a post office box.

For example, a business may have a document logistics room that opens mail and scans documents directly related to their products or services. Workers cannot work in the mailroom but could collect the equipment to allow them to continue working from home.

No.

However if the services you are providing are necessary to ensure that the Permitted Work Premises can deliver its essential service then those services, and only those are permitted.

It is up to each employer to gain advice from their client as to whether they deem the service being provided as essential, with the test being that if the work ceased would the permitted industry still be able to function?

No. IT workers can only attend the workplace onsite if they work in a permitted industry and it is necessary for them to attend onsite.

No. You cannot attend work onsite if you are not a permitted worker working in a permitted industry. Please see the DHHS website for further details.

Valuations and assessments should be completed virtually.

Conveyancers can operate but should do so remotely.

No. You cannot attend work onsite if you are not a permitted worker working in a permitted industry. Please see the DHHS website for further details.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support and the Industry Coordination Centre

The Business Victoria website and hotline provide information on restrictions and support to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15.