Workers required to travel to a workplace will need to have a permit with them as of Thursday 6 August, or face major fines.
All non-essential workplaces will be required to close as of midnight on Wednesday, unless the workplace is deemed part of a permitted activity or all the employees are working from home.
Victorians who need to travel to work will need to have a worker permit with them or face individual fines of $1,652. The associated business will face a fine of up to $9,913.
The permits will only be valid if employees’ workplaces are part of a permitted activity, and businesses that issue permits without meeting the requirements will be slapped with fines of up to $99,132. They will also face individual fines of up to $19,826.
What are essential businesses?
Permitted activities include businesses like meat and seafood processing companies, manufacturing and construction.
Workers at bank branches are also eligible for the worker permits along with horse and greyhound racing workers and wholesale trade workers.
Laundromat workers and locksmiths, broadcasters, filmmakers and telecommunications workers may also be eligible along with Covid-19 scientists and workers at critical science facilities.
And workers at supermarkets, grocery stores, bottle shops, post offices and other essential retail stores will also be eligible.
I’m an essential worker, what do I need to do?
This is the work permit application.
Employers will need to provide the name and date of birth of the employee, their regular hours and place of work as well as the businesses’ name, ABC, company address and trading name.
Additionally, the business will need to meet all the eligibility requirements and have a Covid-19 safe plan in place.
They will need to have an authorised person like the company CEO, HR manager or operations manager sign the permit either in person or electronically.
Then, they will need to send the permit to the employee either via text or email. Alternatively, an employee can travel to work once to get the permit. The employee will also need to sign the permit.
From then on, the employee will need to carry the worker permit and photo identification whenever they’re heading into or from work.
What if I’m a casual worker?
Employers can issue permits for specified date ranges if the employee doesn’t have set hours.
“If this means that employers need to issue separate worker permits for new rostering periods, the employee will need to carry their old worker permit, to ensure authorities can verify with their employer that they are on their way to work,” the government explained.
The same goes for last-minute shift changes: the worker will need to carry the latest permit that they have.
If a worker is working across multiple sites, they will need to keep a log of the workplaces they have visited, while the employer may need to appoint an authorised person at every work site.
What happens if I forget my permit?
Workers who are permitted to travel to a workplace will face fines of $1,652 if they’re caught travelling without the permit, while the business will face a $9,913 fine.
“This is old-fashioned common sense. It’s a piece of paper. Your employer fills it out. They sign it. You sign it. You carry it with you,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“Then you’re able to demonstrate [your reason to be out] so there’s not a sense of anxiety or a sense of having to tell your story 17 times.”