Worksafe Victoria has recently made an amendment to the OHS Act 2004 in relation to duty to notify under Part 5. The new regulations came into force on 28 July 2020 and will remain in place for 12 months.
The amendment now requires employers to notify WorkSafe immediately on becoming aware that an employee or an independent contractor or a contractor's employee has received a confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnosis and has attended the workplace during the infectious period.
These changes also include self-employed persons to directly inform WorkSafe immediately on receiving a confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnosis if they have attended the workplace during the infectious period.
Timely notification of potential workplace transmission of coronavirus (COVID 19) is critical for effective management of related health and safety risks and the prompt investigation of potential breaches of employer duties.
The infectious period begins on the date 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms or a confirmed diagnosis (whichever comes first), until the day on which the person receives a clearance from isolation from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Failing to notify WorkSafe under section 38 of the OHS Act can lead to fines of up to $39,652 (240 penalty units) for an individual or $198,264 (1200 penalty units) for a body corporate.
Further information can be found at https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/report-confirmed-covid-19-diagnosis