Mandatory notifications of COVID-19 cases in workplaces

On 28 July 2020, the Victorian government passed the Occupational Health and Safety (COVID-19 Incident Notification) Regulations 2020 (Vic) (the Regulations). These temporary Regulations came into effect on 28 July 2020 and will remain until 27 July 2021.

Under the Regulations, an employer must notify WorkSafe immediately if an employee or independent contractor engaged by the employer (or an employee of that contractor) (a worker) tests positive for COVID-19 and has attended the workplace within the “infectious period”.

The “infectious period” is defined in the Regulations as the date 14 days prior to the worker showing symptoms of COVID-19 or receiving a positive diagnosis (whichever comes first) until the date on which the worker receives a clearance from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Notification can be made by calling WorkSafe or through its website.

Failure to make a mandatory notification to WorkSafe breaches section 38 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) and carries with it a maximum potential fine of $39,652.80 for those who are self-employed and $198,264 for companies.

If you have any questions regarding your declaration obligations, you should seek further advice by contacting our Employment and Workplace Relations Team.

Author: James Remington