As trusted Allsure clients, we want to make sure you’re well-aware of recent changes regarding COVID-19.
As of 28 July 2020, Victorian employers are now required to notify WorkSafe immediately when they become aware that a worker has received a confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnosis. More precisely, an employer must notify WorkSafe as soon as they are informed that:
- An employee, contractor, or an employee of a contractor has received a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and
- The individual has attended the employer’s workplace in the 14-day period prior to the onset of symptoms or the confirmed diagnosis, whichever occurs first.
Self-employed people are also required to notify WorkSafe under the regulations.
This regulation will remain in place for the next 12 months.
The change comes into place under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and aims to assist WorkSafe to reduce the risks to health and safety in the workplace that are arising from COVID-19. We are now aware of high importance of timely notification of a worker that has tested positive, therefore the effective management of health and safety risks is critical.
Potential breaches of this employer duty will be swiftly investigated to ensure compliance. Failing to notify WorkSafe under section 38 of the OHS Act can lead to fines of up to $39,652 (240 penalty units) for an individual or $198,264 (1200 penalty units) for a body corporate.
What employers should do now
Victorian employers should review their incident notification policies to ensure that any COVID-19 case is reported to WorkSafe Victoria. You should also take proactive action to remind workers of your company’s COVID-19 plan, policies and procedures, including:
- Requiring workers to notify you if they have tested positive for COVID-19
- Directing workers to stay home if they are sick or displaying symptoms
- Instructing workers to notify you if they have been in close contact with a person who has or had COVID-19
- Training workers on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and appropriate hygiene measures, and
- Reminding workers of the procedures to be taken by the workers and employers when a COVID-19 case is reported.
More detailed information about the new regulations is available on the WorkSafe website, including a step-by-step guide as to how to notify WorkSafe of a positive diagnosis. Alternatively, to notify WorkSafe of a positive coronavirus diagnosis, employers or self-employed persons should call the WorkSafe advisory service on 13 23 60.
How we can help
At Allsure we know that now, more than ever, having the right insurance for your business is critical. Whether it’s liability, professional indemnity or business interruption, we can package up the right insurance protection to help your company, and your employees, continue through these difficult times. Contact us now to find out more.