Victoria makes changes to COVID-19 notification requirements

Changes relate to COVID-19-positive people entering the workplace

Victoria makes changes to COVID-19 notification requirements

The Victorian government has recently announced that "employers and self-employed" persons are no longer required to notify WorkSafe if a COVID-19 positive worker attends their workplace.

The "COVID-19 Incident Notification," a new regulation issued for 2022, will revoke regulations that require WorkSafe to be notified "if an employee, a contractor or a contractor's employee receives a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and attended the workplace within the infectious period."

Prior regulations made in 2020 required notifications and were renewed in July last year. "As the management of COVID-19 has since changed significantly, notification requirements are no longer considered a necessary measure to manage the health and safety risks of COVID-19 in workplaces," WorkSafe Victoria (WSV) said in a media release.

As to an employer's duty, WSV said there are "no changes." Every Victorian employer must fulfill "its duty to take every reasonable step to protect workers from risks to both their physical and mental health, including managing risks associated with COVID-19, and to report notifiable incidents to WorkSafe."

Notifications include "the contraction of COVID-19 at the workplace, where the person requires immediate in-patient care or dies as a result."

WSV also said that workplaces must still adhere to the Department of Health requirements with its notification policy, where notice must be given to the department when five positive cases have attended the work premises within seven days.

WSV said it's committed to ensuring the safety of employees and said it can take action against workplaces that do not comply with their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The changes are effective from 14 January.

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