On the spot fines to be issued by Police may reach $10k for Metro Melbourne businesses that don’t obey the government’s strict Stage 4 lockdown laws relating to essential work.
Worse still, businesses that try to claim permits that don’t meet the worker permit scheme requirements could be slapped a fine of up to $99,132.
From 11:59pm tonight, eligible employers that require their staff to attend a worksite must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility.
Announcing the permit system yesterday, Premier Daniel Andrews said the permit is “old-fashioned common sense” and will stop essential workers from having to repeatedly explain why they’re out and about.
The penalties are as follows:
- $19,826 (for individuals) and $99,132 (for businesses) for 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.
- $1,652 (for individuals) and up to $9,913 (for businesses) on-the-spot fines 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 for a worker permit
Employers can issue a worker permit to their employee if:
- the organisation is on the list of permitted activities
- the employee is working in an approved category for on-site work, and
- the employee cannot work from home.
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:
- Download the template from the Vic gov website and fill it out.
- Employers must use this template for all worker permits issued under this scheme.
- 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.
- 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.
- More details about the Permitted Worker Scheme can be found here
- More details about which industries can stay open and which ones must close can be found here
- Visit AfMA’s dedicated COVID-19 page for all news about this ongoing pandemic affects you and your workplace.