Information about Victoria's Permitted Worker Scheme

Latest updates

  • If businesses have issued permits with future date ranges, they do not need to reissue permitted worker permits.
  • Businesses can edit and add to the dates on the permitted worker permits they have currently issued to workers if required.
  • Permitted worker permits for childcare and kinder are no longer required

Key points

Workplaces in metropolitan Melbourne must be closed unless:

  • the workplace is part of a permitted activity, or
  • all employees are working from home.

Employers that require their staff to attend a worksite must issue a worker permit to their employees. Issuing the workers permit is the employer’s responsibility. The dates on existing permits can be edited and added to by employers as required.

Advice on access to childcare for permitted workers is provided below. Permitted workplaces must have must implemented their COVIDSafe Plan.

Download the Permitted worker permit (Word).

On this page

Penalties of up to $19,826 (for individuals) and $99,132 (for businesses) will apply to employers who issue worker permits to employees who do not meet the requirements of the worker permit scheme or who otherwise breach the scheme requirements.

There are on-the-spot fines of up to $1,652 (for individuals) and up to $9,913 (for businesses) for anyone who breaches the scheme requirements. This includes employers and employees who do not carry their worker permit when travelling to and from work.

Eligibility

Employers can issue a worker permit to their employee if:

  • the organisation is on the list of permitted activities
  • the employee is working in an approved category for on-site work, and
  • the employee cannot work from home.

In rare circumstances an employee does not need a worker permit.

This includes:

  • if an employee is at risk at home, such as at risk of family violence, and
  • law enforcement, emergency services or health care workers who carry employer-issued photographic identification, which clearly identifies the employer.

An employee must not use a worker permit, even if they have been issued one, if:

  • they test positive to coronavirus (COVID-19) and are required to self-isolate
  • they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.

Information employers will need

To issue a worker permit, employers will need:

  • name, ABN, company address and trading name
  • the name and date of birth of the employee
  • the employee’s regular hours and place of work
  • to meet all eligibility criteria, including that the business is a permitted activity
  • to meet all relevant legal obligations 
  • to have a COVIDSafe Plan in place, and
  • to authorise a person or people to issue the worker permit.

How to issue a worker permit

Each employee required to be on site must receive an individual worker permit with the required details.

Employers must:

1. Download the Permitted worker permit (Word). and fill it out. 

  • Employers must use this template for all worker permits issued under this scheme.

2. Sign the worker permit. You can print and sign or sign it electronically. 

  • Businesses must get an authorised person to sign the worker permit. This person might be the CEO, a HR manager, an operations manager or anyone else that is suitable. 
  • They must be accountable for the details they provide. 
  • They may be contacted by Victoria Police or other enforcement agencies to confirm the details.

3. Ask the employee to sign the worker permit. They can print and sign or sign electronically. 

  • You can email or text the worker permit to your employee.
  • An employee may travel to work without a worker permit once to get their first permit.

Carrying a worker permit

Employees must carry the worker permit and photo identification when travelling to and from the workplace.

The worker permit can be carried electronically, for example as a photo or scanned copy on a mobile device.

Casual workers

Employers may need to issue worker permits for specified date ranges for employees who do not have regular hours. 

If an employee is commencing a new rostering period and has not yet been issued with their worker permit for that period, the employee will need to carry their old worker permit when travelling to work. This will allow authorities to verify with the employer that they are on their way to work. Once at work, the employer will need to update the worker permit to reflect the employee’s new roster.

Picking up shifts and last-minute shift changes

Employees that are unexpectedly called in outside of their specified hours can attend their workplace. 

They will need to carry the worker permit they do have, to ensure authorities can verify with their employer that they are on their way to work.

Working across multiple sites

Each employer must determine who will be authorised to issue worker permits. Employers with multiple work sites may decide to designate an authorised person at each work site.

Employers should minimise any requirement for employees to work at different sites.

Where possible, if a person is working regularly across the same locations, their permit should specify the sites they attend.

If someone's job requires them to visit multiple sites in an unpredictable way (such as delivery drivers), an employer can issue a permit using the employee’s primary place of work.

If a person’s permit is checked, the police may contact their employer to confirm the employee’s permitted workplaces. This may include checking where they need to travel beyond their primary place of work on that day.

An employee working at more than one site must keep a log of the places visited including date, time and place of attendance.

Working from home

Employers are responsible for determining whether an employee can work from home.

If you are concerned that your workplace is unsafe for you to attend, you should contact WorkSafe.

In rare circumstances where an employee is at risk at home, an employee does not need a worker permit. This includes in a situation of family violence.

Transport to and from work

If a permitted worker is your dependant and unable to transport themselves to and from their place of work, you can take them to and from work without needing a worker permit for yourself.

If needed, authorities must be able to confirm that travel is in accordance with the worker permit.

Sole trader

If you are a sole trader then you must issue a worker permit and sign the worker permit. For the purposes of the worker permit you are considered both the employer and employee. You should complete the employee and employer details.

Sub contractors

The employer of the sub-contractor needs to be satisfied that the sub-contractor is required on-site.

The employer may be the main contractor, or it may be that the sub-contractor is a sole trader.

Franchisees

The person or entity who must issue the worker permit is determined by who is the employer under the franchise agreement.

If the franchisee is the employer, they will be responsible for issuing the permit.

International or national organisations

You should not attend work without a worker permit.

If your employer has not been in contact about a worker permit, you should contact your manager or human resources department.

People who are exempt from carrying a permit

Certain emergency services, public safety and health workers are not required to carry a permit under the scheme. These people can use their photographic personal identification from their place of work as evidence of their permitted worker status. The following people do not require a permit if they have photo identification from their place of work:

  • all Victoria Police employees, Australian Defence Force employees, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission employees, Australian Border Force employees, Australian Federal Police employees, and employees of government intelligence and security agencies;
  • emergency service workers and volunteers, which include: Ambulance Victoria, Australian Red Cross, Bushfire Recovery Victoria, Country Fire Authority, Emergency Management Victoria, Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority, Fire Rescue Victoria, Forest Fire Management Victoria, Life Saving Victoria, Marine Search and Rescue, Victoria State Emergency Service, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, and
  • hospital workers and health workers (including non-emergency patient transport workers)

If a person is not required to carry a permit, they must hold ID from their place of work which includes:

  • Their name and place of work.
  • Photo identification. If your workplace identification does not include a photograph, you must carrying another form of photographic ID for verification.

Employers and employees who do not have this exemption should make sure they are carrying a permit as required under the directions when attending their place of work.

Childcare Permit

Worker permits for accessing childcare and kinder are no longer required.

More information

Download the Permitted worker permit (Word).

See the Chief Health Officer’s directions.

Information on WorkSafe requirements.

View the Business and industry metropolitan Melbourne stage 4 restrictions.

Please contact Business Victoria on 13 22 15 if you have a specific question that can’t be answered by the information above. Business Victoria is experiencing very high call volumes, and there may be an extended wait before your call is answered.

For other information about the restrictions contact the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 – open 24 hours, 7 days. For languages other than English, press zero.