Information on what you can do to help you stay safe while working and studying

Key points

  • Continue working from home.
  • Primary school and high school students have returned to face to face learning.
  • University, TAFE and adult education students should continue to learn from home if you can.
On this page

Work

Summary of restrictions

Current restrictions:

  • Continue working from home if you are able to work from home. If it’s not possible for your work to be done from home, you can still go to work.

Can I go to work?

If you can work from home, you must work from home.

If you’ve been working from home, you must continue to do so.

If it’s not possible for your work to be done from home, you can still go to work. When at work, you should ensure appropriate physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and others wherever possible and practising good hygiene.

Why are Victorians being asked to continue to work from home?

By working from home, you are doing your bit to enable other restrictions to be eased and to make it easier for people who can’t work from home to maintain physical distancing while travelling to work.

Does my employer have a responsibility to support me to work from home?

Your employer must support you to work from home if you can. If suitable, you can choose to work from another location, such as a friend or family member’s house if you can maintain appropriate physical distancing and good hygiene. For more information, see 'What responsibilities do employers have to support staff to work from home' on the Business sector page.

By working from home, you are helping limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and are keeping those who can’t work from home safe.

If you can’t do your work from home, then you can still go to work. However, you should consider flexible working arrangements with your employer including off-peak travel. If you are unwell, you must stay at home.

What do I do if my employer and I disagree about working from home?

You and your employer should work together to identify if you can work from home. Workers can raise concerns about being asked to return to work through the Police Assistance Line (PAL) on 131 444. If a complaint is made, the employer would need to show that the employee cannot work remotely.

What if I’m finding it difficult to work from home? Can I choose to work from my normal workplace?

If you can work from home, or from another location such as a family member’s house, then you must do so. This is really important in helping to limit the number of people moving around – and limit the spread of the virus.

If you cannot perform your role from home or another location, then you are able to attend your workplace.

For more advice on health and safety considerations of working from home, see the WorkSafe website.

Do normal workplace compensation rights apply?

If you believe you have contracted coronavirus (COVID-19) at work you may be entitled to workers compensation. Information on entitlements and the process for lodging a claim can is available on the WorkSafe website.

If you require support or additional information please contact your employer, union or the WorkCover Advisory Service on 1800 136 089.

Actions for organisations, workplaces or employers

Organisations and employers responsible for a workplace, facility or venue must comply with occupational health and safety and workplace safety requirements.

For all organisations continuing to operate, the following actions should be taken:

Key actions

  • Unwell staff must stay at home. You should actively encourage them to do so.
  • Consider if work related travel by your staff within Victoria is necessary and delay where possible. 
  • Plan for increased levels of staff absences.
  • Plan for what to do if staff arrive unwell at work (e.g. identify an isolation room or separate area).
  • Display education materials can be downloaded and printed from our coronavirus (COVID-19) section.
  • Keep staff informed of the actions you are taking.

Requirements for workplaces that are public indoor settings and are allowed to be open under current restrictions are available  on the Business and industry page.

Advice for all workplaces

Hygiene

  • Provide and promote hand sanitisers for use on entering buildings.
  • Increase environmental cleaning. 
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly, including desks, keyboards and change room surfaces.
  • In a change room, do not share items like towels and soap bars, and wash your hands after changing.
  • Open windows, enhance airflow, adjust air conditioning.
  • Ensure the highest hygiene practices among food handlers and canteen staff.
  • Purchase supplies to help limit infection, for example alcohol sanitisers and soap.

Physical distancing

  • Plan ways to enable physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres to reduce person to person contact for staff and clients.
  • In an enclosed workspace there should be on average no more than one person per four square metres of floor space.
  • Provide a clearly visible sign for customers and staff stating how many people are allowed in your premises.
  • Avoid large indoor meetings and lunchrooms and use outdoor venues.

Can I volunteer?

You can continue to do volunteer or unpaid work if the organisation you are volunteering for is still operating.

You need to maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others at all times and ensure you practise good hygiene such as regularly washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.

If you can volunteer from home, you must volunteer from home.

Information for current and prospective volunteers about how to support the community and stay safe can be found at Volunteer Victoria.

Study and education

Summary of restrictions 

Current restrictions:  

  • Childcare and kindergartens remain open.  

  • Primary school and high school students have returned to face to face learning. 

  • University, TAFE and adult education students should continue to learn remotely or online where possible.  

Can I still go to my classes at TAFE, college or university?

Whenever you can, study at home. 

You may attend on-campus if it is necessary for hands-on, skills-based learning, or if you cannot access technology at home for remote studies.

If you’re attending onsite, you should maintain physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others where practical. 

Avoid spending time in shared facilities such as libraries and campus study areas. Collaborative assignments and team study projects should be done using online tools. 

Actions for TAFEs, colleges and universities

Institutions should continue to provide online or remote learning where possible.

Some staff and students will attend on-campus where it is necessary for hands-on, skills-based learning and research. 

These settings should take the following actions:

Key actions

  • Take all the actions listed under 'Actions for an organisation, workplace or employers' on the Business sector page.
  • Provide access to online content remotely and participate in as many other classes as possible by audio-visual link or other remote means.
  • Workplace canteens and cafes may open for staff and students for up to 20 people, provided restrictions for restaurants and cafes are applied.
  • Cancel non-essential group activities such as study visits, extra-curricular activities, camps and sporting events.
  • Continue to support clinical placements if the necessary risk assessments have been undertaken, after discussion with clinical supervisors and healthcare facilities.
  • Unwell students and staff must stay at home. You should actively encourage them to do so.
  • Identify a space that can be used to isolate students and staff who become unwell.
  • Student residences, residential colleges and students should consider the risks versus the benefits of students remaining. If they remain open, reduce accommodation densities and restrict the use of communal areas.
  • Student halls and residential colleges should implement a plan to identify students who have respiratory symptoms or fever and isolate these individuals as quickly as possible. Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) should get tested. For more information, see the Getting tested page.
  • Keep students and staff informed of the actions you are taking.

Hygiene

  • Encourage personal hygiene, such as use of hand sanitiser by staff and students at entry points and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or their elbow.
  • Where soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitiser should be provided.
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly, including desks and keyboards.

Physical distancing

  • Plan ways to enable physical distancing of 1.5 metres to reduce person to person contact for staff and students. 
  • Where possible, use larger teaching spaces that allow one person per four square metres of floor space on average.
  • Recognising that physical distancing in some practical/hands-on teaching and learning spaces may not always be appropriate or practical, in this situation best efforts to maintain physical distancing should be made and other strategies to reduce risk of transmission emphasised (e.g. hand hygiene and cleaning). 
  • Limit movements and contacts between student/class groups.

Can my child go to school?

A staged return to on-site schooling in Victoria is complete.

Students in Prep – Grade 2, Year 11 and 12 and all students in specialist schools, returned to school on 26 May 2020.

Students in Grade 3 – Year 10 returned on the 9 June 2020.

Actions for schools

Health and safety guidance to support schools to continue to provide safe teaching and learning environments for staff and students as schools transition back to on-site schooling is available on the Department of Education and Training website.  

Can my child go to childcare or kindergarten?

Childcare and kindergartens remain open.

Actions for early childhood education and care services

Health and safety guidance to support early childhood education and care services to continue to provide safe teaching and learning environments for staff and children is available on the Department of Education and Training website.

Transport and travel

For information on travel to work and study, including public transport visit Travel.