COVID-19. Important information for our members.
Also, use the menu drop down function to read the"Funds Assistance" page or click here.
The situation with the coronavirus is changing every day, so please be sure to refresh this page and check our Facebook page for updates.
The PPTEU, along with other construction unions, employer associations and other industry partners believe that it is not in the interest of the industry and its workforce for sites to be closed down partially or fully due to Covid-19, whilst we must all maintain public and private health standards for everyone in the community.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak the office is open for limited member access.
In line with recommendations with Government, we are taking preventative measures for the health and safety of the members and staff.
The office is open to members, and restrictions still apply such as wearing of a mask, 1.5 m distancing in the foyer, one member at the reception desk at a time and hygeine principles still apply.
Before coming into the office, we ask members to be patient and to use the relevant numbers listed on the home page to assist with your enquiries.
We encourage you use the "contact us" link at the bottom of the home page.
For the purchase of merchandise, this must be ordered online, using the "shop" drop down box at the top right hand side of the home page.
We apologise for the inconvenience this causes, but these measures are necessary during this unprecedented health event.
We strongly advise all members to use this web site to keep up to date with daily announcements affecting you and our industry. For general health advice on COVID- 19 you can call the Vic Government hotline on 1800 675 398 or check out their website.
16 February 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines for the Building and Construction Industry Victoria (Revision 10)
Revision 10 of the Building and Construction Industry COVID-19 Guidelines are issued as of today’s date.
15 February 2021
Update on Positive Cases and Circuit Breaker Action to Lockdown Victoria
There are now a total of 21 active cases connected to the latest quarantine hotel outbreak – 5 new ones over the weekend of which 3 were locally acquired. This is day 3 of the snap 5 day lockdown which returned us all to Stage 4 livability restrictions – ie four reasons to leave home.
There are several new ‘Tier 1’ exposure sites including the Victoria Market where anyone who has visited one of those sites during the specified period are required to get tested and isolate for 14 days. The location of those sites and times are listed on the DOH website at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/case-locations-and-outbreaks-covid-19 - case-alerts--public-exposure-sites
When we return from Lockdown, employers should take note of these sites and ensure that workers who have been at these locations during the specified periods are isolating as required and NOT ATTENDING SITE.
Density Quotients in Crib Rooms and Amenities
From late last year, the density quotient for enclosed spaces was increased to one person per two square metres (from four square metres). This enabled more workers to occupy crib rooms and amenities during their breaks and site offices.
HOWEVER, the CHO’s Workplace Directions are clear that the overarching rule is that you must still ensure 1.5 metres distancing at all times. This means that employers must both calculate the maximum number of persons that can occupy any enclosed space including offices AND ensure that 1.5 metres can be maintained. The following is an extract from the current Workplace Directions:
“actions taken by the employer to mitigate the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 at the Work Premises;
Examples: temperature testing, provision and training for PPE use, regular cleaning, specific cleaning requirements following an outbreak, physical distancing requirements (e.g. closing or reconfiguring common areas such as lunchrooms to support workers remaining 1.5 metres apart at all times).”
13 February 2021
Building & Construction Industry Covid-19 update.
Update on Positive Cases and Circuit Breaker Action to Lockdown Victoria
At a meeting convened tonight by the Industry Coordination Centre of DJPR, government officials provided further clarification of the shutdown of the building, construction and development industry as follows:
Under the published summary of restrictions, essential construction services work will be permitted to continue for critical infrastructure work, including road construction services.
We understand that essential work can continue on:
a. projects that have already been listed as 'State critical infrastructure projects' or 'Critical and essential infrastructure projects' (lists at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorias-restriction-levels-covid-19).
b. construction and maintenance for the purposes of national security and defence, and
c. critical infrastructure including road construction services.
The expectation is that few activities will meet these criteria and other construction will be paused in a safe manner.
Any further permitted activity would only be considered in highly exceptional circumstances where urgently required for the purposes of sustaining human health, safety and wellbeing.
These restrictions impose stronger limits on construction activity than the 5 August 2020 Stage 4 restrictions. This reflects that the Circuit Breaker Action is intended to be a shorter, sharper lockdown with fewer exceptions.
It was made clear that there is NO requirement to obtain a permit to work if you are working on a permitted site.
It was made clear that employers should use professional judgement in deciding what works need to be performed during the shutdown on safety grounds, either for the integrity of the structures, plant or equipment or of the safety of members of the public.
To read the publised restrictions, see the PDF below.
9 December 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines for the Building and Construction Industry Victoria (Revision 9)
Revision 9 of the Building and Construction Industry COVID-19 Guidelines are issued as of today’s date.
Consistent with DHHS Workplace Directions No 12, issued 6 December 2020 and as further informed by the Foundations for Safety Victoria, a number of significant changes have been incorporated to reflect COVIDSafe Summer restrictions.
30 October 2020
The COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2020(the COVID-19 Omnibus Act) has received Royal Assent and came into effect on Wednesday, 21 October.
The COVID-19 Omnibus Act makes temporary amendments to strengthen the ability of WorkSafe inspectors to take enforcement action to ensure employers are providing a safe place of work with regards to COVID-19.
Specifically, designated WorkSafe inspectors will be appointed as Authorised Officers under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 to enforce relevant directions made by the Chief Health Officer (CHO) in relation to workplaces.
Where inspectors observe that CHO directions are not being followed, they may refer the breach to the Department of Health and Human Services, which can issue a fine under the PHW Act.
The amendments also clarified WorkSafe’s powers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to issue prohibition notices to employers who are not following CHO directions.
These are temporary measures and will expire six months after their making.
WorkSafe is committed to ensuring you have all of the information you need during these unprecedented times and will provide guidance and support to assist you with the commencement of these changes.
27 October 2020
THIRD STEP – Community and Industry Restrictions – effective midnight TONIGHT
The Building and Construction Industry is able to transition to the Third Step (Open with a COVIDSafe Plan) from midnight tonight. There are no workforce restrictions in the Third Step either in numbers or ability to attend multiple sites on a day or during the working week. Repairs and renovations on occupied premises are now allowed, subject to creation of a risk assessed barrier being created with the occupants.
In meetings with government officials last night, we were informed that the Building and Construction industry would no longer be considered to be a (COVID-19) high risk industry. This means that from tomorrow, projects are no longer required to have a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan, only a COVIDSafe plan. The prudent course of action for projects already operating under a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan would be to continue to do so. However any new projects will only be required to have a COVIDSafe Plan from tomorrow.
We are awaiting the next edition of the Chief Health Officer’s Workplace Directions which are expected later today/tonight. We also expect the government agencies to revise and update the ‘Roadmap’ and Questions & Answers over the next day or so.
16 October 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines for the Building and Construction Industry Victoria (Revision 8)
Revision 8 of the Industry Guidelines was released today by Peter Parkinson on behalf of the Industry Working Group, noting that this Revision applies from today and is not conditional on moving to the Third Step of the government’s roadmap.
WorkSafe inspectors will have enforcement powers against employers/contractors in respect to breaches of the Workplace Directions, including for example if workers are not wearing a face mask on site, or are not observing physical distancing rules in or outside of the worksite.
22 September 2020
Extension to JobKeeper Payment
The Government has extended the JobKeeper Payment by a further six months to March 2021.
The payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 and to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021. From 28 September 2020, lower payment rates will apply for employees and business participants that worked fewer than 20 hours per week in the relevant reference period.
21 September 2020
Construction Industry restriction levels
With the anticipation of restrictions being lifted, attached below are the current published steps of restrictions.
21 August 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines for the Building and Construction Industry Victoria (Revision 7)
These Guidelines have been revised to incorporate the new DHHS Directions for Stage 4 Restrictions across Metropolitan Melbourne and include links to full details of the Restrictions and Guidance. It is important to read the Industry Guidelines document in conjunction with the DHHS Directions and the Victorian Government Business Vic Construction Sector Guidance. Note that the Business Vic link provides a comprehensive set of Q and A’s for the Construction Sector and Related Sectors. The content will be updated as further clarifications become necessary.
18 August 2020
Stage 4 restrictions for construction sites in metropolitan Melbourne and Stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria
Every construction site operating under Stage 4 'Stay at Home' restrictions is required to have a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan in addition to a COVIDSafe Plan.
For construction sites operating under Stage 3 'Stay at Home' restrictions it is advised to have a COVIDSafe Plan.
A COVIDSafe Plan helps businesses meet their requirements under the directions issued by the Victorian Chief Health Officer (CHO).
Business Victoria has information about COVIDSafe Plans, including templates and guidance.
7 August 2020
Stage 4 restrictions
What are the new restrictions for construction sites?
From 11:59 pm on Friday 7 August the following changes will need to be adopted by all Melbourne construction sites.
Permitted Worker Scheme
From midnight tonight 5 August, worksites which are permitted to remain open (this includes the building and construction industry, which is a permitted industry under restricted activity from midnight 7 August, must have a Permitted Worker Permit. The following extract is from the Department of Justice Website: https://www.justice.vic.gov.au/permitted-worker-scheme
From 11:59pm on Wednesday 5 August, employers that require their staff to attend a work site must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility.
13 May 2020
The VBA has introduced a 6-month provisional plumbing registration.
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has been required to postpone plumbing registration examinations (Journeyman exams) for apprentices who have completed their plumbing apprenticeships.
This is due to the physical distancing requirements associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the resulting temporary closure of exam facilities at many TAFEs and RTOs.
Usually, qualified and experienced apprentices must complete the Journeyman exam before they can gain registration. If they complete their apprenticeship and carry out plumbing work without being registered, they would be doing so unlawfully.
To ensure affected apprentices aren’t unfairly prevented from gaining registration, the VBA has introduced a 6-month provisional plumbing registration. Plumbing apprentices are eligible for this provisional registration if they have completed their apprenticeship and the Certificate III in Plumbing and are unable to undertake the Journeyman exam due to its postponement.
Any completing apprentice who gains provisional registration will lawfully be able to continue working under a licensed plumber for a period of 6 months. Apprentices granted a provisional registration will be managed by the VBA and prioritised to complete the registration exam once exam facilities are available again. The exam must be completed within 6 months of the date of the provisional registration.
We encourage any affected apprentices who meet the criteria for provisional registration to submit an application. The application fee and provisional registration fee have been waived.
For information on how to apply, and to start an application, visit Apply for plumbing registration on the VBA website.
If you require any further information, please contact the VBA Customer Service Team at customerservice (at) vba.vic.gov.au.
31 March 2020
Incolink now has only one account, the Incolink Redundancy Account. Incolink has moved to one account to make it easier and fairer for workers.
It is recommended members register with the "WorkerLink"portal for claims.
Visit the Incolink web site to read about the changes.