All states & territories now require or encourage workplaces to have some form of a COVIDSafe Plan (or similar). For example:
In New South Wales, some types of businesses and organisations must register as COVID Safe under the Public Health Orders, whereas other businesses and organisations are encouraged to register as COVID Safe to show their customers and visitors that they are keeping up the highest standards to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Read more >
In Queensland, every workplace must have a COVID Safe management plan as part of the Work Health and Safety plan that all businesses are required to have and maintain. A COVID Safe management plan in Queensland does not need to be submitted to the Chief Health Officer for approval and should be made available when requested. Read more >
South Australia has implemented some business restrictions and closures. Workplaces in South Australia that are involved in a defined public activity must have a COVID-Safe Plan in place in order to trade. Read more >
Tasmania has implemented a COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework which encompasses Safe Workplaces Guidelines and minimum standards. To comply with the new minimum standards, employers should complete a safety plan and/or checklist. Read more >
Workplaces in Victoria must have a completed COVIDSafe Plan to continue their operation.
A COVIDSafe Plan sets out:
your actions to help prevent the introduction of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace
the type of face mask or personal protective equipment (PPE) required for your workforce
how you will prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace.
Businesses and industries operating in Victoria must follow COVIDSafe principles:
ensure physical distancing (1.5 metres)
wear a fitted face mask that covers the nose and mouth (update: now highly recommended indoors but only mandatory in certain settings such as care facilities)
practice good hygiene
keep good records and act quickly if staff become unwell
avoid interactions in close spaces
create workforce bubbles.
Not all public health directions will be the same in each state and territory or for each business, so it is important you review the directions which apply to your workplace (scroll to the bottom of this article for links to the directions in your jurisdiction). Nevertheless, all Australian organisations and employers who are responsible for a workplace must take action to meet your work health and safety duties and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This includes the following employer obligations:
▶︎ Have a COVIDSafe plan in place that is regularly updated
▶︎ 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
▶︎ 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 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, 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 the government health department and workplace safety authority in your jurisdiction, your health and safety representatives, and notify your workforce
▶︎ Regularly clean your facilities, shared spaces and provide additional cleaning supplies
▶︎ Undertake risk assessments for cleaning and the potential closure of your workplace in certain situations.
The key points for Victoria's COVIDSafe Settings:
▶︎ If you are unwell, you must stay at home. If you have any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, get tested and stay home.
▶︎ When you leave home, you must carry a face mask, unless an exemption applies.
▶︎ A fitted face mask must be worn in certain settings. Read more >
▶︎ To avoid crowds on public transport, consider flexible working arrangements with your employer, including off-peak travel.
▶︎ People working across state borders, please note you will need to apply for a permit to enter Victoria from anywhere in Australia. Read more >
▶︎ As restrictions ease it is important to stay safe by washing your hands regularly, coughing and sneezing into a tissue or your elbow, and keeping at least 1.5 metres from others.
▶︎ Download COVIDSafe Plan template >
▶︎ Download COVID workplace attendance register >
More information is available on the Victorian Government COVID Safe Settings webpage.
As enforceable government directions are being made regularly, we encourage you to regularly check the links below for more information:
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Tasmanian Government - Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Resources (under the heading 'Current Directions')
If you need further assistance or information, please contact us today.