From 11:59pm Monday 23 August workforce permits will be required for authorised workers when they leave home for work in response to the latest COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria.
Farmers and farm workers will require an authorised worker permit to travel to work, when moving between properties and when travelling for authorised farm business.
It is the employers responsibility to issue a worker permit to their employees. Authorised worker permits and instructions on issuing a permit can be found at coronavirus.vic.gov.au.
For agriculture the authorised worker list includes:
Farm, animal and bloodstock leasing activities, including:
- farming activities and other operations relating to agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, irrigation, permaculture, apiculture, grains, fibre production, dairy, flower industry, commercial fishing, aquaculture and livestock; or
- intensive agricultural production including; greenhouses and animal production; or
- agricultural, veterinary chemicals and vaccine production, transportation and distribution (including the Pig Services Centre); or
- laboratory and diagnostic services; or
- animal feed production, transportation, packaging, sale, and feeding (including livestock and pets).
The Victorian Government has warned of penalties of up to $21,808 (for individuals) and $109,044 (for businesses) for employers who issue worker permits to authorised 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 $1,817 (for individuals) and up to $10,904 (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.
Accessing school and childcare
School, childcare, kindergarten and early childhood services are open only for the children of authorised workers if they cannot work from home or if no home supervision is available at home. More information is available at coronavirus.vic.gov.au.
Please note, the VFF safety team are still available for assistance and farmers are encouraged to get in touch with them regarding farm safety matters on 1300 882 833.
The VFF encourages all farmers to regularly monitor the latest COVID-19 information and guidelines at coronavirus.vic.gov.au as the situation can change quickly.
If you require any clarification or have questions for your specific circumstances, please call us on 1300 882 833.