Media reports reveal that 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, effective January 14.
Renewed in July 2021, the government issued a safety regulation that required employers and self-employed individuals to notify WorkSafe Victoria (WSV) ”if an employee, a contractor or a contractor's employee receives a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and attended the workplace within the infectious period.”
However, the "COVID-19 Incident Notification," a new regulation issued for 2022, revokes said regulation.
"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.
However, WSV maintained that there are "no changes" to employer duty. 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."
Advising employers to adhere to the Department of Health requirements with its notification policy, WSV insisted on notifying the department if five positive cases attended the work premises within seven days. Further, WSV stated that it is committed to ensuring the safety of employees and will take action against workplaces that do not comply with their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act