Victoria’s Face Mask Workplace Blitz – What Employers Need To Know

Published July 22, 2020 -
woman wears facemask during victoria lockdown workplace blitz

Business owners in Melbourne need to ensure their staff are complying with new face mask regulations, or risk being caught out, according to Employsure, Australia’s largest workplace relations advisor.

Premier Daniel Andrews recently announced that from midnight tonight, masks will be mandatory outside of the home in the Melbourne metropolitan area and Mitchell Shire, to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Exceptions will be made to those with medical issues, those running for exercise, and children under 12. The fine for not wearing a face covering will be $200.

The Victorian Government is promising a blitz on businesses across the area due to the rise of cases in the workplace, to ensure they are complying with the mandatory face mask rules. Authorities will have a heavy focus on workplaces deemed most at risk, such as call centres, meat processing plants and distribution facilities.

“The health of any employee should be at the front of the mind of every business owner, particularly during this challenging time,” said Employsure Managing Director Ed Mallett.

“Employers have a responsibility to identify whether there is a risk to the health of their staff, as COVID-19 cases in Victoria increase by the hundreds each day. Face masks need to be enforced at all times, and they need to be covering both the nose and mouth. Areas where employees are unable to stand 1.5 metres apart from each other need to be identified, and if too dangerous, alternative arrangements need to be made.

“It’s not just staff that employers need to be making sure are wearing masks, but also customers and clients that enter the workplace. Employers must ensure everyone who enters is compliant, and where necessary, refuse entry to those who do not abide by the rules. What we’ll be seeing in the next few days and weeks is a crackdown on businesses by relevant authorities, checking to see if the very best protocols are in place.

“Business owners need to remain vigilant, and realise that the responsibility falls directly on them. We’ve seen in instances overseas, particularly in the retail sector, where shoppers have become angry at having to wear a mask and security has become involved. In these cases, employers should be encouraged to call security if they feel their staff are being threatened, or even police if violent behaviour occurs.

“One positive thing we’ve been seeing some businesses do is provide their staff with the correct personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves, so that employees don’t have to source it themselves. I encourage all small businesses to try and get hold of whatever PPE is necessary for their workplace, especially while there are shortages in supermarkets and pharmacies.”

Have a question?

Have a question that hasn't been answered? Fill in the form below and one of our experts will contact you back.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call Now

1300 651 415

Live Chat

Click here