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Business Insights – 31st May 2021 – Update on Victorian restrictions

I’m here on Monday 31st May with an update on the circuit breaker lockdown in Victoria.

Government financial support for Victorian businesses

We heard from the Victorian government that financial support will be available for some Victorian businesses. As we were expecting, the funding package will be limited to businesses in hospitality, entertainment and non-essential retail. And for those eligible businesses, they will be entitled to a single payment of $2500.

Not much information is currently available. Applications for funding will open on Wednesday so we expect more details to be released over the next 2 days. However, I wouldn’t expect many businesses outside those targeted will be eligible for funding under the currently announced scheme.

 

Victorian Lockdown Restrictions

There have been no changes to the current restrictions, however there is a bit more information about what is permitted.

The additional information provides a more realistic perspective, allowing people to attend offices to pick up equipment or materials to allow them to work from home. So, we take this to mean that someone can attend an office to collect the mail or pick up paperwork that they need to be able to do their job remotely.

Another clarification is that someone can attend an office to ensure computer systems or phone systems operate effectively so that others can continue to work from home productively.

For businesses in the construction sector, there is further clarification on renovations, painting, gardening, landscaping and installation of swimming pools at occupied houses.

See the following items of clarification sourced from the Vic government website: (https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/circuit-breaker-restrictions-for-how-we-work)

Note: there’s no definition of exactly what constitutes essential repairs and maintenance. Consider this carefully and use common sense when attending occupied properties.

If my workplace is an Authorised Provider or I am an Authorised Worker, can I go to my workplace?

You should only work on-site if it is not possible to do your job from home, or if another lawful reason applies, such as the need to perform emergency maintenance or ensure the premises are closed safely. In general, if you can work from home, you must work from home.

See the Authorised Provider and Authorised Worker list.

 

Can I/my workers attend the workplace to collect material or equipment I/they require to work from home?

Yes, workers can collect materials or equipment they require to work from home, but they must not remain at the workplace for any other reason if they are not Authorised Workers as listed on the Authorised Provider and Authorised Worker list.

 

My business is closed under the circuit breaker restrictions. Can I visit the premises?

If your business is closed, you can only attend the premises:
• to perform essential or emergency maintenance
• to ensure the premises are closed safely
• to allow workers to collect materials or equipment required for them to work from home
• to provide necessary administrative services to enable your employees to work from home
• as required or authorised by law or in an emergency.

 

Construction

Is construction allowed to continue during circuit breaker restrictions?

Yes, construction can continue during the circuit breaker restrictions for unoccupied premises and new builds. For answers about occupied premises, see below.

 

Is service and maintenance permitted in the construction industry?

Yes, all aspects of construction are permitted to operate for unoccupied premises and new builds. For answers about occupied premises, see below.

 

Can construction and renovations continue at occupied premises?

Construction and renovations, including pool installation, painting, and landscaping, must not proceed at occupied premises.

Emergency repairs and maintenance are permitted, however workers must wear face masks and have no contact with residents.

 

Is painting allowed to continue?

Painting is permitted:
• as part of a new build, or
• as a standalone project on an existing property where there are no residents.

If the premises are occupied, painting should not proceed.

Essential repairs and maintenance at an occupied property are permitted (as defined below). Strict health measures are required, and workers must wear face masks and have no contact with residents.

 

In what circumstances can landscaping and garden maintenance continue?

Landscaping works may continue where they are occurring:
• as part of a new build, or
• as a standalone project on an existing property where there are no residents.

Landscaping works are not permitted at occupied properties.

 

Essential repairs and maintenance at an occupied property are permitted (as defined below). Strict health measures are required, and workers must wear face masks and have no contact with residents.

In what circumstances can swimming pool construction continue?

Swimming pool construction at unoccupied homes is considered a form of construction and is permitted. This includes projects that had not begun at the start of the circuit breaker restrictions.

Swimming pool construction at occupied homes should not proceed unless it is for emergency repairs and maintenance, required to maintain or protect human health, safety, and wellbeing.

 

What is essential maintenance? Can essential maintenance continue in homes where residents are staying?

Maintenance work in homes or apartments where residents are staying can only continue where it is essential for the continued operation of:

• essential infrastructure and essential services that are required to maintain or protect human health, safety, and wellbeing (whether provided by a public or private undertaking), and including construction, maintenance, and repair of such infrastructure
• critical repairs to any premises where required for emergency or safety
• services to support ongoing provision and regulation of electricity, gas, water, sewage and waste and recycling services and their maintenance.

Workers must always wear a face mask and have no contact with residents.

Tenfold coaches are supporting our Victorian clients across a wide range of industry sectors and with different operating models for working during this lockdown. Your coach is here to help you navigate this period.

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