Industry News
Fiona Nield

What has changed for residential building businesses?

Face Masks

From midnight 22 November face masks will only be mandatory indoors.

Office workers therefore will continue to be required to wear a face mask if working at an office.  Existing exceptions will continue to apply.

For indoor work on a building site face masks will continue to be required. Face masks are not required outdoors except where physical distancing cannot be maintained. There are be instances of outdoor work where HIA recommends face masks continue to be used such as when meeting with clients on site.

Victorians are also required to continue to carry a face mask so it can be used when social distancing is not possible.

All other COVIDSafe requirements remain in place – including COVIDSafe Plans, the density quota and all COVID cleaning and other requirements for workplaces.

Importantly, OHS requirements on sites around PPE continue to be in place for specific tasks that would normally require this.

Offices

From 30 November a slow steady safe return to working at a business premises or office will be allowed. This re-introduction to workplaces will allow:

  • 25% of staff to be in the office and
  • 75% of staff to continue to work from home.

Businesses with fewer than 40 staff can have 10 staff in their office subject to density quotients for each room in the office.

It is recommended that employers stagger start and finish times. The employer will also need to monitor attendance and make sure all other COVIDSafe requirements are in place. This includes all social distancing and all other COVID cleaning and similar requirements.

Real Estate

From midnight 22 November the following changes will be made to real estate auctions:

  • Indoors: Up to a maximum of 20 people with the density quotient in place.
  • Outdoors: Up to 50 people from any number of households, excluding infants under 12 months.

Note: These are different arrangements to those that apply to display homes. No changes were announced today for display homes which remain subject to all retail requirements and are open for business subject to health and hygiene requirements.

SA Border

Travel between South Australia and Victoria requires a permit and there is a bubble in place for the border community.

Next Steps – COVID Normal

The Premier has advised that on 6 December further changes will be considered with the aim of locking in COVID Normal arrangements.

The Business Victoria Website provides further guidance around current requirements for operating in the construction industry.

It is vital that as an industry we remain vigilant and follow all the requirements – including site signage, social distancing, record keeping and other requirements.

HIA continues to recommend that residential builders follow the HIA Making Space on Site Guidelines that best suit your construction site or workplace.

Finally HIA will review the legal documents as they become available for these changes and further advice on any other matters that arise from these will be provided to members as soon as possible.

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