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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.