Coronavirus COVID-19 Advice and Resources.
Last update: 17 September 2020
Update: 15 September 2020
Update: 18 August 2020
Last update: 11 August 2020
Last update: 7 August 2020
Update: 6 August 2020
Update: 4 August 2020
Update: 3 August 2020
Update: 2 August 2020
Update: 30 July 2020
Update: 23 July 2020
Update: 20 July 2020
Update: 15 July 2020
Messages from Tim Piper, Head – Ai Group Victoria:
Update: 8 July 2020
From 11.59pm on Wednesday 8 July, there will be changes in restrictions in Victoria to respond to the increase in case numbers and to help reduce the risk of further transmission. Different restrictions will be applied to certain areas of the state.
State-wide: Restrictions that apply across Victoria
Melbourne:–Stay at Home restrictions apply
Public housing restrictions
The local government areas where the Stay at Home restrictions apply include: Banyule, Bayside, Boroondara, Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Franksto, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Kingston, Knox, Manningham, Maribyrnong, Maroondah, Melbourne, Melton, Mitchell Shire, Monash, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Mornington Peninsula, Nillumbik, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Whitehorse, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Yarra and Yarra Ranges
Update: 16 June 2020
Returning to the workplace and easing of COVID-19 Restrictions in Victoria from 11:59pm on 21 June 2020
The Victorian Government has announced further easing of COVID-19 restrictions which come into effect from 11:59 pm on 21 Jun 2020.
Despite this announcement, the State Government continues to mandate that only those workers who are absolutely required to be at work should be attending places of employment each day. The primary rationale for this decision is to ensure that there is no overcrowding on public transport and in high-rise buildings in Melbourne CBD.
Update: 12 June 2020
Message from Tim Piper, Head – Ai Group Victoria: Victorian Restrictions on Businesses (12 June)
Update: 11 June 2020
Small business owner's guide to creating a mental health plan
The Victorian Small Business Commission has released a small business owner's guide to creating a mental health plan. Many small businesses are significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with the wellbeing of small business owners and their staff being a priority.
The Guide has been developed in consultation with Beyond Blue to:
Update: 3 June 2020
$50 million funding available to assist COVID-19 response in Victorian food supply chain businesses
In support of vital food supply chain businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Victorian Government has announced the $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan. All businesses within the food supply chain located in rural, regional and outer metropolitan Victorian regions (63 local government areas) may be eligible to apply for up to $300,000 funding on a first come basis, across three funding streams. Details available here.
Update: 29 May 2020
Employees to Continue to Work from Home
On the 29 May 2020, the Victorian Government changed the stay at home directive requiring employees working from home to continue working from home.
Until now the Stay at Home Directions (No.7) stated that a person can leave their premises "only if it is not reasonably practicable for an employee to work from the premises".
The Victorian Chief Health Officer has now updated the Stay at Home Directions to provide a clear and shared responsibility for employees who are currently working from home to keep working from home, and employers to support them in doing so.
The Victorian Government is concerned that there can't be the usual number of people on trains, trams and buses, and that many employees returning to offices will move from public transport to driving to work causing the freeways and major roads to grind to a halt.
No timeline has been set as to when this directive will change, but it is expected to be in place until at least the end of June, or longer.
The updated Stay at Home Directions (No 8) is available on the Department of Health and Human Services website.
Easing of Restrictions in Victoria
On the 24 May 2020, the further easing of restrictions in Victoria were announced.
From 11:59 pm on 31 May 2020, there will be the easing of some restrictions:
From 22 June 2020, cinema complexes, theatres, concert venues and outdoor amusement parks can admit up to 50 customers.
In all cases the four-square metre rule will apply and a distance of 1.5 metres should be maintained between customers.
As previously announced, from 11:59 pm on 31 May 2020, restaurants, cafes and other hospitality businesses can resume dine-in service for up to 20 patrons while abiding by physical distancing requirements. From 11.59 pm on 21 June 2020 this will increase to 50 patrons per enclosed space. A further increase of up to 100 patrons per enclosed space is planned for the second half of July.
Victorian members have adapted admirably to keep their employees safe and continue their operations during this COVID-19 pandemic, and the Ai Group is committed to supporting you during this difficult time.
Stay informed with our exclusive COVID-19 member updates, advice and information.
If you require advice, please do not hesitate to contact the Workplace Advice Line on 1300 55 66 77. We still have a high volume of calls, so you may prefer to send any questions to the Ai Group Workplace Advice Line email email@example.com.
Questions about JobKeeper should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: 11 May 2020
Victoria has announced a slight easy of restrictions. From Wednesday, May 13 the following will apply:
Victorians who were able to work from home are requested to do so for the remainder of May
With regards schools, students in prep and grades 1, 2, 11 and 12 will return to classrooms on Tuesday, May 26, with the remaining year levels returning on Tuesday, June 9.
Update: 7 May 2020
These are some of the most relevant business-related announcements made by the Victorian Government over the past two weeks, as part of the State Government’s response to COVID-19.
Ai Group is now in discussions with the Government about the next stage of support for business and the role the State Government has in working with companies during the recovery stage.
Victorian Members of Ai Group would be aware of the Restricted Activity Directions which have been placed on Victorian companies. Essentially these Directions required the closure of pubs, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, entertainment facilities and food and drink facilities, including canteens.
This provision meant that Victorian businesses were unable to open their staff canteens and could have been prosecuted for doing so.
Ai Group believed this was an anomaly and had unintended consequences on businesses that remained open and continued to support their staff with an on-site canteen.
The Premier’s Office agreed with our view, and within a few days after initial discussions, had organised for an exclusion to be made, from April 25 2020, to the tight restrictions on the serving of food to allow that:
… where the facility is located on the premises of a workplace and the facility only provides food and drink to persons who work at the workplace, the facility may remain in operation.
In effect this means that companies can operate their staff canteen, provided it is only for staff. Prior to 25 April 2020 this had not been allowed.
Members will also continue to need to comply with all social and OH&S restrictions required during this COVID-19 period.
If you wish to discuss these new provisions, please contact Tim Piper, Head – Victoria.
The Victorian Government has developed a major testing blitz for the coronavirus over the next two weeks, where they hope to test 100,000 Victorians to better understand how the virus is spreading in the community and help enable the potential easing of restrictions.
The free tests will be offered at local doctors, hospitals, clinics, shopping centres, and potentially at some businesses. Ai Group is communicating with the Premier's office to determine a role for testing in businesses.
Should you wish to have your employees tested, contact the Getting Tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) section on the Department of Health and Human Services website.
Other announcements made over the past two weeks include:
Head Victorian Branch