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COVID-19 restrictions ease further - Victorians to return to the office

March 23, 2021

Today the Premier announced a further easing of restrictions with facemasks required in high-risk areas only, and measures to ensure workers return to the office.  Read a copy of today’s media release

Working in offices

From 6:00pm on Friday 26 March, businesses will no longer be required to comply with the 75% cap placed on office-based workers. 

The requirement for office-based workers to continue working from home where reasonably practicable will also be removed. This means that businesses can require workers to return to the office, subject to a density limit of one person per 2 square metres.  

The Government has also introduced a flexible work policy for the Victorian Public Service (VPS).  This requires public servants to be working in the office at least 3 days per week. 

Private businesses are not subject to this 3 day requirement but should familiarise themselves with: 

  • Fair work laws that allow workers to request flexible working arrangements; and 
  • How to respond to such requests if they are made from workers. 

Facemasks 

Victorians will still be required to carry a facemask with them at all times when leaving home.  

The requirement to wear a facemask at a supermarket or retail store will also no longer mandatory. Facemasks will still be mandatory in high-risk areas such as in a hospital, aged care facility or in a rideshare vehicle. 

Businsses must continue to ensure that workers continue to carry a facemask on building sites and when visiting the office unless an exemption applies. 

Electronic Record Keeping 

From 27 March 2021, all businesses using electronic record keeping such as a QR code system, must ensure their electronic record keeping provider integrates with the Victorian Government contact tracing system – by using the Victorian Government Visitation Application Programming Interface (API).

Businesses that maintain electronic records for contact tracing purposes should by now have been advised by their third party provider that their electronic record keeping system can integrate with the Government’s Application Programming Interface (API).

Members utilising the HIA QR Code will receive confirmation from HIA that it meets this requirement. 

More information on these changes

What are my ongoing obligations?

Businesses must continue to ensure: 

  • Their COVIDSafe plan is relevant and up to date; 
  • Workers continue to carry and wear facemasks where social distancing is not possible;
  • Capacity limits placed on offices of one person per 2 square metres are complied with;  and 
  • Record keeping of workers and visitors who attend the work premises for longer than 15 minutes are maintained. 

Contact a HIA Workplace Adviser

1300 650 620

or email enquiry@hia.com.au