Victoria COVID-19 Stage 4 Restrictions
4th August 2020
Our thoughts are with all Victorian members and their families during this challenging and frankly stressful time. Please be assured that we are always here to support you and will continue to provide information to help you as it comes to hand.
Stage 4 Restrictions
The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews last night held a press conference to address the Stage 4 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions being introduced to the state for the next six weeks.
All Victorians are required to work from home, except where this is not practicable.
The default is that workplaces in metropolitan Melbourne are closed unless the workplace is part of a permitted industry as set out in the Stage 4 Restrictions – Sectors document. Sectors (including supply chain) relevant to the electrical industry have been highlighted for clarity.
Three lists of workplaces have been defined with the Premier noting the following:
- Businesses that will not close.
Supermarkets, pharmacies, bottle shops, petrol stations, grocery stores, banks, newsagencies, post offices – plus everyone involved in the frontline response.
- Businesses that will close from midnight Wednesday.
All retail, some manufacturing, administration type businesses.
- Businesses that will continue under significantly different conditions.
Meat works, warehousing and distribution will reduce to two-thirds capacity.
Large scale Government construction project workforces that have already been halved will continue to be scaled back.
Large commercial buildings above three stories will reduce by as much as practical with a maximum of 25% of the workforce on site.
Small scale and domestic construction can continue but will be limited to five people onsite.
All open businesses and services will need to have a COVIDSafe Plan in place by 11.59pm Friday 7 August. MEA has developed a range of COVID-19 resources (including an industry code of practice) to assist members.
In an update on on Tuesday 4 August, the Premier stated that employers and and their employees if authorised to do work will commence a permit system by Friday of this week. Details will come over the next few days. This is to make it easier for employees to prove to police legitimate reasons for movement due to work.
Impact on electrical contractors
The Premier stated in his press conference that it is not the time to have unnecessary tradesman in Victorian homes.
Under the restrictions, residential and commercial services that were booked before 5pm 3 August and are scheduled to be carried out before 5pm 17 August, that are essential to the wellbeing or livelihood, will be permitted. All activity will be subject to a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan.
Only emergency services may be undertaken after this time. This definition is unclear for many of our members, we are endeavouring to get clarity regarding the situation.
Under the Stage 4 restrictions, workplaces that remain open must abide by the following:
- have a COVIDSafe Plan in place that is regularly updated (unless you are a small business with fewer than five employees)
- ensure that any workers that can work from home are able to do so
- collect records of all workers, subcontractors, customers and clients attending the work premises for 15 minutes or longer (certain exemptions will apply)
- one worker per four square metres of enclosed workspace or in shared areas
- unless an exemption applies, ensure that workers do not work across multiple sites, or work for multiple employers
- ensure that workers are in good health – workers cannot work if they are unwell and employers must not require workers with symptoms to work
- if your worker is unwell with COVID-19 symptoms, send them home and direct them to be tested. They must stay home until they have their result
- report any positive cases of COVID-19 to DHHS, WorkSafe Victoria, Health and Safety Representatives, and notify your workforce
- regularly clean your facilities, shared spaces and provide additional hygiene supplies
- undertake risk assessments for cleaning and the potential closure of your workplace in certain situations.
Frequently asked questions are currently being developed by the Victorian Government.
Those who are infected or are self-isolating who are not at their place of confinement will face either a $5000 on the spot or a $20,000 fine from a Magistrate for repeat or recalcitrant offenders. Significant resources will be put toward enforcement including regular spot checks.
Additional financial support for businesses
Businesses in regional Victoria can apply for a $5,000 grant while those in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire can apply for up to $10,000 in recognition of spending longer under restrictions.
These are new support measures which are in addition to previous grants that have been paid.
To help keep you and your workers safe and to support your business, MEA has developed a suite of downloadable documents, resources and checklists including:
- Electrical Industry Code of Practice – COVID-19
- Management procedure for customers Updated for Victoria
- Hazard Controls – Use of Masks – COVID-19
- Travelling in vehicles guidelines
- Application of the two-person restriction in workplaces
- Reducing the risk of COVID-19 procedure
- Customer/client checklist prior to attending site
- Advisory Notice – Customer contact precautions
- Procedure – Working from home employee safety checklist
Access your COVID-19 resources (member login required)
MEA is continuing to revise these resources based upon health advice and information from the relevant Government agencies.