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COVID-19 GUIDANCE SUMMARY – MARCH 2022

This Summary of the latest Pandemic (Workplace) Order No 6 and the Industry COVID-19 Guidelines (Revision 7 dated December 2021) provide the most comprehensive ‘best practice’ advice available to the industry, agreed and supported by the industry stakeholders.

Download the 2022 SUMMARY COVID-19 GUIDANCE – final 110322

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COVID-19 Financial Support

COVID-19 Financial Support

January 22, 2022

If you have been directed to isolate due to COVID-19 you may be eligible for financial support.

TEST ISOLATION PAYMENT
Victorian workers who are required to isolate while waiting on the results of a PCR tests (or are the guardian or parent of someone who is isolating while waiting on PCR results) may be eligible for a $450 COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment.  Extensive eligibility criteria apply including:

  • the payment is only available for workers over the age of 17;
  • the person must have been likely to have undertaken paid work during the isolation period; and
  •  the person must have exhausted or not have the ability to access sick leave or carers leave during the isolation period.

Importantly, the payment must be applied for within two weeks of the test and you can only access one payment in a 30-day period.  For the full list of eligibility criteria and details on how to apply, visit https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/covid-19-test-isolation-payment 

PANDEMIC LEAVE DISASTER PAYMENT
If your claim is for a period of isolation beginning 9 December 2021 until 17 January 2022

Workers who have been directed to self-isolate or quarantine for 7 days or more during this period may be able to claim the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment. This may also be available if a worker has had to take time off work to care for someone who has been directed to self-isolate or quarantine. Provided the eligibility criteria are met, the payment is available for each 7-day period a person is required to isolate or self-quarantine.

The payment is $750 for 7 days and if a person is positive and required to isolate beyond the initial 7 days, they may have access to a further $750 payment. Please note that a number of eligibility criteria do apply, including that you must have been directed by a health official to self-isolate or quarantine and you must not have been in receipt of any other income during the isolation period. From 10 January 2022, positive cases confirmed by Rapid Antigen Tests registered online will be accepted as evidence of the need to isolate for the purposes of applying for the payment.

If your claim is for a period of isolation from 18 January 2022 onwards

Different rules apply from 18 January 2022 for those seeking to access the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment. Whilse many of the eligibility criteria remain the same, a person applying for the payment must have also lost at least 8 hours or a full day’s work and must have liquid assets of less than $10,000 on the first day of the pay period they are claiming for. Further from 18 January 2022, if a person has lost at least 8 hours or a full day’s work but less than 20 hours of work over a 7-day period of self-isolation, the payment is reduced to $450. For workers who lose 20 hours or more of work they will receive the full $750 payment (subject to otherwise meeting the eligibility criteria).

For more information on the eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/pandemic-leave-disaster-payment-victoria

INCOLINK COVID-19 HARDSHIP PAYMENTS
If you are experiencing financial stress due to not being able to attend work for a COVID-related reason such as mandatory isolation, you may be able to access $2000 (before tax) of your available Incolink funds per month. To apply you will need to not be receiving income (including leave entitlements) and your employer will be required to complete an online form declaring that you are unable to work due to isolation requirements.

 

For more information visit the Incolink website at https://incolink.org.au/

OTHER ASSISTANCE
There is a range of other financial assistance programs available for those experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including rental assistance. Further information can be found at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/getting-help

 

 
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Revision 16 Industry COVID-19 Guidelines

This Revision has been updated to align with the latest Department of Health Workplace Direction #57 released last week and is in accordance with Phase D of the National Plan.

Rev 16 Industry Guidelines 261121

 

Victoria has now reached the 90% double dose vaccination target.

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Industry & Vaccination Update

Industry & Vaccination Update

November 16, 2021

Updates on vaccinations in our industry and DHS advice

There continues to be a slow down in positive cases in our industry, which of course is because of the rates of a vaccinated workforce. 
 
As of 12th November: 
  • 92.6% First Vax
  • 86.6% Second Vax
The Health Department has also clarified Density Quotients for Crib Rooms

 Quote from Health Department: 

“Thank you for your patience as we investigated this issue. We have consulted the
Directions and can confirm that non-publicly accessible space is currently subject to a
density quotient of one person per two square metres (DQ2). However, if the space is
publicly accessible or a shared space , a density quotient of one person per four square
metre applies.
 
We agree that construction sites are generally non-publicly accessible spaces and a DQ2
applies. However, the policy position is that crib rooms are considered shared spaces and
a density quotient of one person per four square metres applies in that space.”
 
 

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Construction Vaccination Website

Construction Vaccination Website

October 25, 2021

The BIG1 group of industry associations and unions have launched their Construction Vaccination Website, containing all the information you might need about the vaccines and how to book an appointment.

This is a wonderful initiative to get the right information directly to our workforce, including in a range of languages suitable for our CALD communities.

See the following link to the website: 
https://constructionvaccinehub.com.au/

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In-depth Interview with ABC TV

In-depth Interview with ABC TV

October 6, 2021

State Secretary John Setka speaks with ABC this morning.

Covering:
  • Dozens of families affected by protests
  • How hard we work to keep everyone safe
  • Investigations happening
  • The union never stood for mandatory vaccinations
  • Assistance to members and representation
  • Commercial sector success in handling COVID
  • Majority of members stance
  • Respect for each other and individual choice

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Reset to restart: Workers safety is paramount.

Reset to restart: Workers safety is paramount.

October 5, 2021

Industry guidelines remain in force and provide comprehensive advice to the industry.

View the latest industry guidelines covering what the workplace, and worker are required to do to keep everyone safe and construction remaining operational.
 
Additionally – updated version (V14) of the Guidelines for The Building And Construction Industry (BIG) Victoria was released on September 1 2020 and is available to view here

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Construction Reopening

Construction Reopening

October 1, 2021

 

The Building Industry Group of Unions (BIG) welcomes today’s announcement by the state Government to reopen Victoria’s construction industry next week.
This reopening adopts several of the BIG’s recommendations, including improved safety
measures on-site, stricter Covid-Safe plans and the return of the smoko shed.
The sheds will return with strict density limits and ventilation, meaning that workers have a safe
and hygienic place at work to take their breaks.
Union members are already on the job, preparing sites to return to work next week in a
productive and Covid-Safe way.
We now call on the state Government to work with industry on a common-sense, practical
approach to return to normal construction for all workers, which must include recognition of the
Gold Standard and Rapid Antigen testing.
After violent and reckless protestors shut down Victoria’s construction industry for two weeks,
the Building Industry Group of Unions, and their members, have got the industry open and will
keep it safe.
Quotes attributable to the BIG Secretaries:
“After the despicable actions of a small minority last week, including attacking nurses and
urinating on the Shrine, frontline workers need to know that Union members in the construction industry, and their families, stand with you through this difficult time.”
Troy Gray – Secretary, ETU Victoria
“Our members are on job sites now, across Victoria, preparing Covid-Safe crib rooms to allow
work to commence on Tuesday.”
“The industry Gold Standard for Covid-Safe work should have been adopted across the whole industry. We know it’s world’s best practice and we will continue to fight to have it recognised.”
Earl Setches – Secretary, PPTEU Victoria
“We look forward to working with the government on a plan which sees all construction workers return to the job as soon as possible, in a safe and productive way.”
Tony Mavromatis – Secretary, AMWU Victoria
“A group of morons might have managed to shut down construction, but the members of the building unions are the ones who got it open safely.”
John Setka – Secretary, CFMEU Victoria & Tasmania
 

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CFMEU Head Office declared a COVID-19 tier one exposure site

CFMEU Head Office declared a COVID-19 tier one exposure site

September 29, 2021

The CFMEU has blamed the reckless and irresponsible behaviour of protestors for the head office being declared a COVID-19 tier one exposure site today.

 

Last week’s protests put union officials and police at risk with infected demonstrators showing no regard to the wellbeing of people affected by their actions. Their reckless behaviour has resulted in transmission to union staff and officials who were not involved in the protest. To date, four positive cases have been recorded.

Officials and staff are deeply concerned for the wellbeing of their families and the risk of the infection spreading. 

John Setka, Secretary CFMEU Vic/Tas said: “This outbreak caused by the disgusting behaviour of selfish and reckless people with no regard to the wellbeing of the thousands of construction workers or their families will not deter our commitment to getting construction back open and all our members back to work.”

The declaration of the CFMEU head office as a tier one exposure site means the building at 540 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne has forced union staff and officials into two weeks isolation.

John Setka, Secretary CFMEU Vic/Tas said: “The union has worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to keep construction open and members working safely while so many other industries were shut and thousands out of work, many for well over a year.

“The shutdown of the industry last week was devastating for 300,000 plus construction workers and the of lack of prior consultation from the CHO even more frustrating.

“Construction workers not being able to work and earn an income to put food on the table and pay mortgages puts enormous stress on families.

“We are working tirelessly on a road map for the government and CHO to get construction open and everyone back to work.”

 

 

 

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John Setka speaks with Channel 10

John Setka speaks with Channel 10

September 23, 2021

See interview via twitter link here: