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Work and volunteering

Find information about how COVIDSafe Settings affect working and volunteering in Victoria.

Summary

From 11:59pm on Friday 9 April 2021, Victoria has further relaxed its COVIDSafe settings. These changes are designed to balance getting Victorians back to doing the things they love while keeping in place measures to protect all that Victorians have worked so hard for.

Work

  • All office based and on-site workers can return to work to 100% capacity.
  • No density quotient applies for any office area that is not accessible by members of the public, including private offices, open plan offices, internal meeting rooms and shared spaces such as kitchens, lunchrooms and bathrooms. Spaces accessible to the general public, including lobbies and reception areas, maintain a density limit of one person per two square metres.
  • No density quotient for court and tribunal facilities.
  • No density quotient for the Victorian Parliament.
  • It is highly recommended all workplaces use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service or Victorian Government Application Programming Interface (API) linked system for record keeping.
  • You must always carry a face mask with you when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to. For more information on when face masks must be worn, see When to wear a face mask.
  • 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.

WorkSafe advice about face masks in work premises

The Victorian Chief Health Officer has directed that employers must take reasonable steps to ensure that employees, when working at their employer’s work premises, carry a face mask at all times and wear a face mask in settings where face masks are required, in accordance with the directions currently in force (unless an exception applies).

For more information, visit   WorkSafe.

What does this mean?

  • Employers must have a COVIDSafe Plan for their work premises.
  • The density quotient no longer applies in offices to any office area that is not accessible by members of the public, including private offices, open plan offices, internal meeting rooms and shared spaces such as kitchens, lunchrooms and bathrooms.
  • Record keeping requirements for workplaces continue, this means that an employer must keep a record of all workers and all visitors who attend the premises for longer than 15 minutes.
  • It is highly recommended all workplaces use the free Victorian Government QR Service or Victorian Government Application Programming Interface-linked system for record keeping. For some workplaces electronic record keeping is now mandatory.
  • 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.
  • You must carry a face mask with you when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason not to. For more information visit Face masks - work and volunteering or Face masks - study and school.
  • It is recommended that you wear a face mask when you cannot keep 1.5 metres distance from others, unless a lawful exception applies.

In high-risk work premises, employers must ensure that workers wear a face mask at the work premises in accordance with the directions currently in force.

Study and education

  • All Victorian school students have returned to on-site learning.
  • University, TAFE and adult education students and teachers may return for on-site learning.
  • In line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, all high-school students and school-based staff must carry a face mask at all times when they leave home, unless an exception applies. There are a number of lawful excuses for not wearing a face mask.
  • is strongly recommended students aged 12 and over wear a face mask when they cannot keep 1.5 metres distance from others unless they are attending primary school.
  • For Information about wearing face masks at schools, early childhood education centres and places of study in Victoria go to Face masks - work and volunteering or Face masks - study and school.

Work

Can I go to work?

All office based and on-site workers can return to work at 100% capacity.

A density limit of 1 person per two square metres in shared spaces and publicly accessible areas and record keeping requirements apply, except in some limited circumstances.

When at work you can stay safe by:

  • washing your hands regularly
  • coughing and sneezing into a tissue or your elbow
  • keeping at least 1.5 metres distance from others
  • taking extra care to distance yourself from others when in lobbies, reception areas, lifts, lunch rooms and meeting rooms.

If you are unwell, you should stay home and get tested for COVID-19.

You must carry a face mask when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason not to wear a face mask. It is recommended you wear a face mask when you can’t keep 1.5 metres distance from other people.

All businesses must have a COVIDSafe Plan if they have on-site operations including businesses operating from a home (e.g. hairdressing from a home).

Businesses do not need a COVIDSafe Plan for individuals working from home who would ordinarily attend on-site operations outside their home. Businesses with no on-site operations (for example, sole traders working from home who do not have business-related visitors) are not required to have a COVIDSafe Plan.

Do I need to wear a face mask in the office?

You are no longer required to wear a mask in the office, but it is recommended you wear a face mask when you can’t keep 1.5 metres distance from other people.

You must continue to wear a face mask when on public transport, in taxis, ride shares or other commercial passenger vehicles, in hospitals and inside spaces of care facilities, on domestic flights to and from Victoria, at airports, and if you are a diagnosed person or close contact in accordance with the Diagnosed Persons and Close Contacts Directions (unless an exception applies).

Does my employer have a responsibility to support me to work from home?

If you wish to continue working from home you should discuss this with your employer.

For more information, see 'What responsibilities do employers have to support staff to work from home?' on the Working from home - information for business page.

If you have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting test results, you must stay at home. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, get tested and self-quarantine until you receive a negative result.

You are helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 and are keeping those who cannot work from home safe.

I want to continue working from home - can my employer make me work on-site?

If you wish to continue working from home you should discuss this with your employer.

For more advice on health and safety considerations of working from home, see the WorkSafe website.

Do I need to check-in or record my details when at work?

Yes, anyone who attends a work premises for more than 15 minutes must provide their details (including name, contact number, the time they visited and the areas they attended) for record keeping. This includes staff, contractors and visitors.

Do normal workplace compensation rights apply?

If you believe you have contracted COVID-19 at work, you may be entitled to workers compensation. Information on entitlements and the process for lodging a claim is available on the WorkSafe Victoria website.

If you require support or additional information please contact your employer, union or the WorkCover Advisory Service on 1800 136 089.

Volunteering

Can I do volunteering work?

Yes.

If you are in a high-risk group, you can volunteer, however, consider wearing a face mask where you cannot maintain physical distancing from others.

High-risk groups include people aged 70 years and over, people aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions, people with compromised immune systems and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50. Information for current and prospective volunteers about how to support the community and stay safe can be found at  Volunteer Victoria.

Education

Actions for schools

Health and safety guidance to support schools to continue to provide safe teaching and learning environments for staff and students is available on the Department of Education and Training website.

Actions for early childhood education and care services

Health and safety guidance to support early childhood education and care services to continue to provide safe teaching and learning environments for staff and children is available on the Department of Education and Training website.

Reviewed 30 April 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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