Permit clarification provided ahead of Melbourne business closures

by Freya Lucas

August 05, 2020

As Melbourne heads into Stage 4 restrictions, under which workplaces must be closed unless the workplace is part of a permitted activity, or all employees are working from home, further confirmation has been provided in relation to a permit system, which will determine which members of the community are able to be out of their homes as a result of their employment.


For those businesses in which employees are required to present to a workplace, including those who operate in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) space, employers must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility.


Employers can issue a worker permit to their employee if:


An employee must not use a worker permit, even if they have been issued one, if:

  • they test positive to coronavirus (COVID-19) and are required to self-isolate; or
  • they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.


Penalties of up to $19,826 (for individuals) and $99,132 (for businesses) will apply to employers who issue worker permits to employees who do not meet the requirements of the worker permit scheme or who otherwise breach the scheme requirements.


There will also be on-the-spot fines of up to $1,652 (for individuals) and up to $9,913 (for businesses) for anyone who breaches the scheme requirements. This includes employers, and employees who do not carry their worker permit when travelling to and from work.


To issue a worker permit, employers will need:


  • name, ABN, company address and trading name
  • the name and date of birth of the employee
  • the employee’s regular hours and place of work
  • to meet all eligibility criteria, including that the business is a permitted activity
  • to meet all relevant legal obligations
  • to have a COVID-19 safe plan in place
  • to authorise a person or people to issue the worker permit.


Each employee who is required to be on site  must receive an individual worker permit with the required details, the Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety said. 


How to issue a worker permit


Each employee required to be on site must receive an individual worker permit with the required details.


Employers must:


Download the template and fill it out.


    • Employers must use this template for all worker permits issued under this scheme.


Sign the worker permit. You can print and sign or sign it electronically.


    • Businesses must get an authorised person to sign the worker permit. This person might be the CEO, a HR manager, an operations manager or anyone else that is suitable.
    • They must be accountable for the details they provide.
    • They may be contacted by Victoria Police or other enforcement agencies to confirm the details.


Ask the employee to sign the worker permit. They can print and sign or sign electronically.


    • You can email or text the worker permit to your employee.
    •  An employee may travel to work without a worker permit once to get their first permit.


Carrying a permit


Employees must carry the worker permit and should carry photo identification when travelling to and from the workplace. A worker permit can be shown electronically to authorities such as a photo, or scanned copy, on a mobile device.


For further information, please see here