COVID-19 - Stage 4 Employment Restrictions

04 Aug 2020

Below is advice received from the Australian Industry Group regarding the Stage 4 restrictions announced by Premier Dan Andrews.

"The Victorian Government has announced dramatic changes and restrictions to business in Victoria in an attempt to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic within the State.

The new Stage 4 restrictions cut across manufacturing, retail and services with thousands of workplaces being forced to shut from 11:59pm on Wednesday 5 August.

The Victorian Government has released the Stage 4 Industries Listing where the default position is that a business is closed to on-site work unless the workplace is part of a permitted industry for on-site work. A business can continue to operate where that work can be done from home.

The list outlines examples of workplaces that are:
1. Closed for on-site work,
2. Open for on-site work with a COVID Safe Plan, and
3. Restricted Operations or Industry Specific Obligations.

These Stage 4 Restrictions apply to metropolitan Melbourne from 11:59pm on Wednesday 5th August 2020 for six weeks.

Businesses in industry sectors that are permitted to remain open to on-site work will be required to prepare a COVID Safe Plan by 11:59pm on Friday 7 August 2020. New Workplace Directions will also come into effect that include the wearing of face coverings, recording of contacts, and cleaning processes."

FCIA has received advice from Ai Group and their legal advisers that if a company has a direct question about whether they are able to operate, FCIA can send that question to the government and seek a response.

Members will need to provide FCIA with a paragraph about what they do and who they supply to, and the direct question that they are asking. There are very significant fines for breaching the directions, so businesses will need to ensure that the information they provide is not misleading.

It must be emphasised that the FCIA cannot answer the question of whether a business is required to close or allowed to remain open. We will help you navigate the lists of sectors. The FCIA also is unable to provide specific advice regarding implications for your business. It will be your responsibility to ensure that you are complying with the restrictions by seeking direct advice about your individual situation.

More communication will come out over the next 24, 48 hours. We all have unanswered questions we are working through and FCIA is being very cautious and will seek clarification from the Victorian Government prior to informing Members in writing.

The essence of what the government is attempting to do is to close down people connecting in confined space to short circuit the virus spread. Our role is to support the government in this plan. Navigating the grey areas is a challenge facing all of us.

If a member would like us to pass on their specific questions to the Victorian Government, please forward these directly to Garry Thomas A/g CEO FCIA Ltd, email: