Return to Work – Victoria COVID-19 Restrictions and Risk Controls

Written by Managing Director, Joe Caprara.

Whether you agreed with Daniel Andrews lockdowns or not, and that is certainly not up for debate today, but I am sure that nobody wants to go through another wave of lockdowns and restrictions like we have recently experienced and like Europe is going through again today.

With COVID restrictions easing it is so easy for individual and even more so businesses to drop their guard and be ill informed when considering the risk of whether to allow staff to return to the office.

As a member of A.I.G they have consolidates and shared some valuable information to members in relation to restrictions on business operations in relation to COVID-19 risk controls in Victoria and thought I should share the same with my readers.

Effective from 11.59pm on 29 November 2020, employers have commenced a gradual return to the workplace for office-based work which has previously been undertaken from home. The following limits apply in relation to these workers:

  • Where fewer than 40 workers ordinarily work at the premises at any one time, no more than 10 workers at any one time.
  • Where 40 or more workers ordinarily work at the work premises at any one time, no more than 25% of workers at any one time.

Note – These restrictions do not include any worker who was already permitted to work at the work premises prior to this time.

Remember it may of course be necessary for you to amend your COVID Safe Plans to ensure that these workers and their activities are covered within your plan.

With restrictions easing publicly and in workplaces, and the size of gatherings increasing, it is important for businesses to consider the full context of COVID-19 within Victoria when determining which of the previously required control measures you may wish to remove from your workplace arrangements.

During the second wave of infections, the quarantine requirements in Victoria were significantly increased…….”Now, when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, all close contacts (known as primary “close contacts”), and “close contacts” of “close contacts” (known as secondary close contacts), are ALL required to quarantine.

I suggest you take the time to carefully re-read that last paragraph again before making any decisions to reduce the application of “bubbles” in workplaces because the more interaction that occurs between work teams and shifts, the greater number of people that would be required to quarantine if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your workplace, or if one of your workers is a primary close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case.

All Victorian workplaces are still required to have a COVID Safe Plan and continue to comply with the specific risk controls that are established by the Directions.


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by Joe Caprara