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Dealing with the construction industry lockdown and vaccinations
Construction businesses are being called on by the Victorian Government to lift their game in assuring compliance with COVID safety requirements.
The Government has advised that nearly 50% of construction sites inspected were not compliant and that around 150 construction sites had become contact sites.
Initially, the directive was that all construction workers had to get a first jab of COVID vaccination if they were going to be permitted to work on a construction site.
Then, on last Monday following violent demonstrations, the Government decided to lock down the industry for 2 weeks.
What does this mean for construction employers?
If there is no other work available for construction employees, they would then be stood down without pay for the two week lockdown. People will be able to return to work on Tuesday 5 October 2021 provided they have provided their employer with proof that they either:
- Have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination, or
- Have medical exemption issued by an authorised medical practitioner.
Employers must verify what each employee’s situation is in relation to vaccination and must maintain records of vaccinations and exemptions.
If an employee does not provide the required evidence or just refuses to get vaccinated, the employer must not allow them to return to work and so that again means that the employee would be stood down without pay until such time as the employee produces the evidence required or the vaccination mandate directive is lifted (which is not likely to happen soon).
You should ensure that stand down directions with reasons are provided in writing to each employee that is being stood down.
We are assisting many construction employers in dealing with this issue by providing advice and drafting communications and notices for them.
If you need assistance, call us on 0438 533 311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
Abn : 24 091 644 094
6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136
Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311
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