The Victorian Government has responded to the second surge in Covid-19 cases, by expanding the existing notification duty on employers to now require notification to WorkSafe of cases of COVID-19 among their employees and contractors.
Under the expanded definition of a notifiable incident, Victorian employers that become aware that an employee or an independent contractor engaged by the employer has a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, will be required to notify the diagnosis to WorkSafe Victoria if the employee or contractor attended the Employer’s workplace within the relevant ‘infectious period’. The infectious period runs from 14 days prior to the worker’s onset of COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis (whichever comes first), until the worker receives a clearance from isolation from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
The new notification requirement applies if an employer is aware of a COVID-19 diagnosis of any employee of a contractor engaged by the employer, and to a self-employed person if they have attended the workplace within the relevant infectious period.
The standard notification requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) apply, meaning Victorian employers will generally be required to notify WorkSafe Victoria immediately after becoming aware of a COVID-19 diagnosis.
The new notification requirements commenced on 28 July 2020, and will automatically end on the first anniversary of their commencement (unless extended).
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