COVIDSafe Squad primed and ready to help Victorian business operate safely, and stay open

14 November 2021

In Victoria's new COVID-Normal world, we’ll be living and operating differently, with businesses having to navigate a raft of health and safety requirements to ensure that once we are back open, we can stay open.

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Recent discussions with Victorian Chamber of Commerce members have revealed that most are concerned about implications relating to the application of health and safety mandates within their workspace, and how they will maintain a COVID-Safe environment.

The Victorian Chamber has your back. We have implemented a business health and safety initiative that is aimed at helping businesses to comply with the State Government’s COVIDSafe rules. Funded by the Victorian Government’s Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR), the $1.15 million program is voluntary, open to members and non-members, and is available for businesses of all sizes and industries to participate.

We will be deploying mobile teams of expert COVIDSafe advisers to workplaces across the state to assist businesses with ensuring they are achieving and maintaining a COVIDSafe environment. They will share practical feedback and strategies across a range of areas, including the business’s COVIDSafe plan, the check-in system, and physical distancing arrangements.

Victorian Chamber Chief Executive Paul Guerra says reopening in the new COVID-Safe world can be intimidating and stressful for business, particularly small ones that don’t have dedicated workplace relations or human resources teams, or those of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds that may find the mass of requirements difficult to decipher and implement.

“COVID-19 has thrown an extreme curve ball at Victorian businesses that have had to navigate a range of issues to be COVID Safe including COVID Safe plans, QR Code check-in systems, physical distancing and many are soon likely to have to check vaccination status as well.

“This confidential program is something that hasn’t existed until now and we anticipate that it will be in demand as more and more businesses welcome back staff and customers.”

He encourages business of all size, industry backgrounds, and service areas to participate in a COVIDSafe assessment if visited by the COVIDSafe squad.

“Whether it’s a processing plant, corporate office, entertainment venue or tiny café, any and all businesses are encouraged to take part. It’s not about criticising, shaming or dobbing them in – it’s about getting as many businesses to the point where they can safely operate according to the government mandates. Let’s get business back into operation and able to stay open in the new COVIDSafe society.

All information collected will remain confidential and the Victorian Chamber will share de-identified data with DJPR to report how different businesses across Local Government Areas are tracking in COVIDSafe practices.

The program is running now will conclude on 30 June, 2022. For more information, visit victorianchamber.com.au/covidsafe-squad

The Victorian Chamber also has a dedicated COVIDSafe helpline where you can get expert advice on any COVIDSafe related question that you have. You can contact the COVIDSafe helpline on 03 8662 5365.

FAQ

What is the COVIDSafe Squad?

We are mobile teams of COVIDSafe advisers who will be visiting businesses of all sizes and industries between now and the end of June 2022. Our goal is to let businesses know what they need to do to achieve and maintain effective COVIDSafe practices and help them to fulfil their obligations.

We are not inspectors; we are not from the government; we are not here to issue fines. We are here to help.

What does a COVIDSafe assessment involve?

If you agree to participate, our team will ask you a series of questions about key COVIDSafe topics, such as your COVIDSafe plan, your check-in system and your physical distancing arrangements.

Our teams will give you practical, helpful feedback on how effective your current practices are, and advise where any opportunities for improvement might be.

Do I have to participate?

No. Participating in a COVIDSafe assessment is completely voluntary.

Are my responses confidential? What information do you collect about my business?

Information we collect about your business is confidential and maintained according to the Victorian Chamber’s privacy policy.

We report de-identified data to the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) on how businesses in different local government areas (LGAs) are performing in different COVIDSafe areas. We do not identify individual businesses.

Contact us

If you require further assistance about this program, please call 03 8662 5333 or