Over the last 24 -72 hour period, we have seen a series of important announcements made by the State Government on the further easing of restrictions.
Importantly, at 11:59pm, Thursday 21 October, Victoria transitioned to Phase B of Victoria’s Roadmap: Delivering the National Plan.
Given high vaccination rates and low levels of interaction with the public, the following requirements no longer apply to the construction sector:
- baseline daily workforce limits;
- travel restrictions between metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria
- attestation requirements
- crib room requirements (compliance with best practice standards is recommended).
However, the following COVIDSafe requirements continue to apply:
- Vaccination – workers at all construction sites will need to adhere to the schedule in the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Specified Facilities) Directions, requiring them to have had their first vaccination dose by Friday 22 October and a second vaccination dose by Saturday 13 November.
- Face masks – Face masks must be worn indoors and outdoors by anyone aged 12 years and over, whenever you leave your home, unless you have a lawful reason not to.
- COVIDSafe Plan – you must ensure your COVIDSafe Plan is up to date.
- Limit of movement of workers between sites – until Phase C of Victoria’s Roadmap is reached, worker movement between multiple construction sites will be limited. This applies except in relation to:
- supervisors on small-scale construction sites, who can move between multiple small-scale construction sites; or
- specialist contractors who can move between up to three construction sites per week; or
- specialists who provide safety services; or
- those required to meet minimum statutory obligations or requirements (for example, auditors, building inspectors or surveyors);
- Worker bubbles so that workers work consistently with the same group of other construction workers where reasonably practicable including working in separate shifts and taking separate breaks.
- Density quotient – your workplace must observe a density quotient of one person per four square metres in shared or publicly accessible spaces.
- Record keeping – employers must keep records to show compliance with the Directions including work premises rosters, time and attendance records and payroll data. You must use the Victorian Government QR Code Service to check-in workers.
- Surveillance testing – construction sites with more than 400 workers must participate in surveillance testing, in accordance with the Surveillance Testing Industry List.
- Signage – you must display signage at each public entry to indoor and outdoor spaces. This must show the capacity and face mask requirements. You must also display Service Victoria QR Codes at every public entrance. Visit Signs, Posters and Templates for your workplace.
The Government is continuing to request your support to get workers vaccinated – as the “way out of this pandemic”. Appointments can be made by visiting coronavirus.vic.gov.au or calling the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.
Business Cost Assistance Program Round Four – Construction
Applications are now open for the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Four – Construction.
This program provides “one-off payments” to eligible employing and non-employing businesses in the construction sector that incurred costs as a result of the restrictions in effect from 21 September to 4 October 2021.
Businesses must have been contracted (prior to the restriction period being announced) to work on a site in:
- one of the local government areas in metropolitan Melbourne
- the City of Greater Geelong
- Mitchell Shire
- Surf Coast Shire
Grant amounts are based on whether the business employs staff and if so, the size of their payroll. Eligible businesses will receive:
- $2,000 for non-employing businesses
- $2,800 for employing businesses with annual payroll below $650,000
- $5,600 for employing businesses with an annual payroll between $650,000 and less than $3 million
- $8,400 for employing businesses with an annual payroll between $3 million and $10 million.
Applications close at 11:59pm on Tuesday 9 November 2021 or when funds are exhausted, whichever is earlier. For more information and to apply, see Business Costs Assistance Program Round Four – Construction.
Businesses, sole traders and individuals who do not meet the eligibility criteria and who have lost hours or income may be eligible for financial support through the Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment. Please note the payment may not be available when the 80 per cent vaccination target is reached, based on Commonwealth Government policy.
If you require further information on the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Four – Construction, please contact Business Victoria or call the hotline on 13 22 15.