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New Requirements for Victorian Employers to Notify WorkSafe of COVID-19 Cases

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On 28 July 2020 the Victorian Government introduced the new Occupational Health and Safety (COVID-19 Incident Notification) Regulations 2020, which extends the incident notification obligation of duty holders in Victoria pursuant to Part 5 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act).

Employers and self-employed persons in Victoria are obligated to immediately notify WorkSafe if:

  • an employer becomes aware that an employee or independent contractor engaged by the employer, and any employees of the independent contractor, has received a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and has attended the workplace within the infectious period (being 14 days prior to receiving the confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and until clearance from isolation has been received); or
  • a self-employed person has received a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and has attended the workplace within the infectious period (being 14 days prior to receiving the confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and until clearance from isolation has been received).

A penalty will apply for failing to notify WorkSafe under section 38 of the OHS Act – up to $39,652 (240 penalty units) for an individual or $198,264 (1200 penalty units) for a body corporate.

The OHS COVID-19 Regulations are temporary in nature and will expire 12 months after their making. WorkSafe will review the OHS COVID-19 Regulations during the 12-month period of operation.