Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

VIC – Temporary Lockdown: COVID-19

The Victorian Government has announced temporary lockdown restrictions for Victoria to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This includes the closure of some workplaces and not leaving home to go to work unless it is authorised work.

These restrictions start from 11:59pm on Thursday 27th May 2021 and are due to end from 11:59pm Thursday 3rd June 2021. For more information about these new restrictions, go to VIC – Statement From The Acting Premier.

There Will be Five Reasons to Leave Home

  • Food and supplies
  • Authorised work
  • Care and caregiving
  • Exercise, for up to two hours and with one other person.
  • Getting vaccinated.

Exercise and shopping will be limited to five kilometres from home. If there’s no shops in your 5km radius, you can travel to the ones closest to you. Shopping is also limited to one person per day, per household.

Face masks will also need to be worn inside and outdoors – everywhere except your own home.

Some Parts of Business Operations are Permitted Under the Circuit Breaker Restrictions.

Example: Payroll and IT Services: Administrative services provided by an employer to enable its employees to work from home. Bookkeepers/BAS Agents, processing payroll or getting information to process a payroll which is located offsite will be an authorised work function, but you should only work on-site if it is not possible to do your job from home. For more information: 7 Day Circuit Breaker Restrictions.pdf

Authorised Workers

A workplace must close unless:

A closed workplace may operate:

  • For essential maintenance
  • To ensure that the premises is closed safely for the circuit breaker restrictions
  • As required or authorised by law
  • In an emergency.

You must work from home if your workplace is not authorised to open or operate.

However, ancillary and support businesses are able to open on-site to ensure the necessary production, supply, manufacture, repair, maintenance, cleaning, security, wholesale, distribution, transportation or sale of equipment, goods or services required for the operations of a Permitted Work Premises, or for Closed Work Premises where there are safety or environmental obligations. The business cannot operate on-site for any other purpose.

When Workplaces Shut Quickly Because of a Lockdown

To find out what options are available if a workplace shuts quickly because of a temporary lockdown go to Fair Work Ombudsman – Coronavirus

The FWO also have information on pay and leave options for self-isolation and COVID-19 tests at FWO – Quarantine and self-isolation: pay and leave options

FWO - Enforceable government directions

An employer doesn't have to pay an employee when either the federal or a state or territory government or officer makes an enforceable government direction that prevents an employee from working.

In these instances, the employer doesn't have to pay the employee unless the employee takes paid leave. Whether or not the enforceable government direction prevents an employee from working will depend on the facts in each case.

Stand Downs

Employers may be able to stand employees down without pay during a sudden workplace closure that is outside the employer’s control. For example, they may be able to stand down employees when:

  • the business has closed because of an enforceable government direction (which means the employee can't be usefully employed, even from another location)
  • there's a stoppage of work due to lack of supply for which the employer can't be held responsible.

Employers should first discuss and communicate with employees about a stand down. They should also discuss other workplace options available to employees. FWO – Enforceable Government Directions and Stand Downs

Circuit Breaker Business Support

The Victorian Government is backing businesses most affected by the seven-day circuit breaker action, including operators in the hospitality, retail, events, and creative industries with further targeted support.

The support package will support businesses unable to operate due to these necessary public health measures, including targeted support for the events industry.

With safety nets such as JobKeeper no longer available, this package provides vital support to businesses doing their part to help keep Victorians safe throughout the circuit breaker action.

The package includes:

  • a $190.01 million second round of the Business Costs Assistance Program
  • a $40.7 million new round of the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund
  • $20 million in targeted support for the events industry

Business Costs Assistance Program

The program provides $2,500 grants for eligible employing and non-employing businesses in sectors most impacted. This includes businesses operating in an industry that cannot operate under the circuit breaker restrictions and which cannot work remotely.

The program will open for applications on Wednesday 2nd June 2021 and will remain open for applications for three weeks.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021

The $40.7 million Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 program provides businesses holding an eligible liquor licence and food certificate with a $3,500 grant per premises.

The program will open for applications on Wednesday 2nd June 2021 and will remain open for applications for three weeks.

Victorian Events Support Package

The $20 million package dedicated to supporting operators in the events industry who have incurred losses due to the circuit-breaker restrictions.

More information on these Support Packages will be available shortly.

Register your interest

To be alerted when the Business Costs Assistance Program is open for applications please register for the Business Victoria Update newsletter. Once registered businesses will receive an email this week.

Resources

  • 31st May, 2021
loading