News & Security Advice

Victoria

Victorian Government launches sick pay guarantee for casual workers

After significant consultation with workers, industry and community, the Victorian Government has launched an initiative to pilot sick pay for casual and contract workers in certain occupations in Victoria over the next two years.

The Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee provides casual and contract workers with a guarantee they will receive sick pay when they need to take time off when they are sick or need to care for loved ones.

More than 150,000 Victorian casual and contract workers in eligible occupations can now register for the Sick Pay Guarantee pilot and claim up to five days a year of sick and carer’s pay at the national minimum wage.

Eligible occupations in the first phase include:

  • hospitality workers
  • food trades workers and food preparation assistants
  • supermarket workers
  • retail and sales assistants
  • aged and disability care workers
  • cleaners and laundry workers
  • security guards

Employers are encouraged to support workers to take time off when they are sick or need to care for loved ones.

While employers are not required to be involved in applications for the Sick Pay Guarantee, their employee(s) may ask for evidence of employment if they do not already have it. The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions may also contact employers to verify a worker’s application or claim as part of a randomised audit.

Visit vic.gov.au/sickpayguarantee for more information or to register for the Sick Pay Guarantee.

Review of the Victorian Private Security Industry – Final Report

The review – released today – proposes significant changes across the industry, including establishing an enforceable code of conduct, increasing the quality and monitoring of training, streamlining licensing requirements and establishing a complaints website and phone line.

The Government will implement all 21 recommendations in the review over the next three years.

Implementation of the recommendations will require legislative change, operational change, and enhanced enforcement.

A key recommendation will see Victoria Police improving information sharing with relevant agencies to enhance and coordinate enforcement and oversight activities more efficiently.

The review also recommends putting strict controls in place to prevent employers dodging workplace responsibilities through subcontracting and sham contracting to avoid paying their workers properly.

Given the concerns raised in the review that sub-contracting can lead to underpayment of wages and exploitation of workers, the Government will work with industry and unions to reduce the incidence of subcontracting in state procured security services over time.

The review was conducted in consultation with the Victorian Security Industry Advisory Committee (VSIAC), Victoria Police, Industrial Relations Victoria and relevant unions, who will continue to play a vital role throughout the implementation of the review’s recommendations.

Review of the Victorian Private Security Industry - Final Report

Victoria – On the Spot Fines for Workplace Safety Breaches

From 20 July 2021, WorkSafe inspectors will be able to issue infringement notices with penalties of up to $1,817.40 for certain offences, such as working without a required license, registration, qualification, experience or supervision, or the use of equipment or substances that are not licensed or registered.

These changes have no effect on the responsibilities of employers, who are still required to take every possible, practical precaution in order to provide a safe workplace.

Fines will vary depending on the nature of the offence and range from $363.48 for an individual, and between $1,090.44 and $1,817.40 for a corporation.

More information

COVID-19 Victorian Hotel Quarantine Inquiry Final Report

The COVID-19 Victorian Hotel Quarantine Inquiry Final Report was released on 21 December 2020.

The report highlighted the need for reform and regulation of the Victorian security industry which had been identified in the Victorian Private Security Industry Review and SPAAL submission in July 2020.

COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry Final Report

SPAAL lodged a submission in response to the Victorian Government review into the Private Security Industry for legislative or practice reforms of the Private Security Act 2004 and the Private Security Regulations 2016.

The review of the Private Security Act provides an opportunity to address issues relating to;

  • Sham contracting and the exploitation of workers (individual ABN holders).
  • Implementation of subcontracting licensing requirements in security legislation to regulate subcontracting on multiple levels.
  • Ensuring effective regulatory enforcement in the delivery of training
  • Address poor literacy and numeracy skills with the implementation of a consistent LLN pre-enrolment assessment test.
  • More effective regulatory enforcement by government agencies.
  • Uniform and consistent security licensing requirements.
  • Review of Continuing Professional Development

SPAAL is supportive of the Victorian Private Security Industry Review and looks forward to working with government to advance the professionalism of the industry and to deliver positive outcomes for the community and all key stakeholders.

Victoria Police – Private security licence/registration holders and compliance with COVID-19 restrictions

The Licensing and Regulation Division (LRD) regulate the private security industry to ensure public safety. As part of these duties, the LRD continually assess the suitability for individuals and businesses to hold private security licences and registrations.  On or off duty, private security licence and registration holders are expected to undertake their duties with their core focus on maintaining public safety, ensuring a high level of accountability is associated with these roles.

The LRD would like to remind all private security licence and registration holders they must follow each of the Chief Health Officer’s (CHO’s) directives which are currently in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus and keep the community safe.

Victoria Police takes breaches of licence and/or registration conditions and CHO directives extremely seriously.

Blatant and deliberate disregard of the CHO’s directions endangers public safety and calls into question a private security licence or registration holders suitability to be licenced in an area that requires a strong emphasis on safety.

As a result, the LRD may conduct a Disciplinary Inquiry in accordance with section 50 and 105 of the Private Security Act 2004, which will examine the breach as well as a holistic assessment of the licensees suitability.

A range of actions may be taken as part of this process, including the immediate suspension and eventual cancellation of licences and registrations. Licensees may also be subject to a reprimand which may harm future licensing/registration applications.

Employers who ask their employees to work in breach of the CHO’s directives, including Stage 3 and 4 restrictions, may also face penalties.

If you are unsure around what activities are permitted under the CHO’s directives, please visit the Department of Health and Human Services website or phone the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.

More information about the LRD’s response to COVID-19 can be found on the Victoria Police website – Private Security.

SPAAL Submission – Victorian Private Security Industry Review

The SPAAL is an approved security industry association for security licensing in Queensland, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory and a Victorian Security Industry Advisory Council member.

SPAAL has lodged a submission in response to the Victorian Government review into the Private Security Industry for legislative or practice reforms of the Private Security Act 2004 and the Private Security Regulations 2016.

The review of the Private Security Act provides an opportunity to address issues relating to;

  • Sham contracting and the exploitation of workers (individual ABN holders).
  • Implementation of subcontracting licensing requirements in security legislation to regulate subcontracting on multiple levels.
  • Ensuring effective regulatory enforcement in the delivery of training
  • Address poor literacy and numeracy skills with the implementation of a consistent LLN pre-enrolment assessment test.
  • More effective regulatory enforcement by government agencies.
  • Uniform and consistent security licensing requirements.
  • Review of Continuing Professional Development

SPAAL is supportive of the Victorian Private Security Industry Review and looks forward to working with government to advance the professionalism of the industry and to deliver positive outcomes for the community and all key stakeholders.

Victoria Permitted Worker Scheme – Security Services

​Employers may need to issue worker permits for employees required to attend a work site. If this means that employers need to issue separate worker permits for new rostering periods, the employee will need to carry their old worker permit, to ensure authorities can verify with their employer.

The Premier’s office has advised that permits will be required for security personnel (possession of a current security licence or registration is not enough).

Download a copy of the Permitted Worker Scheme Template ​

Individuals must carry a copy of the permit with them.

For more information visit the VIC Justice Department > http://www.justice.vic.gov.au/

From 11:59pm Wednesday 5 August, workplaces in Melbourne must be closed unless:

- The workplace is part of a permitted activity, or

- All employees are working from home.

From 11:59pm on Wednesday 5 August, employers that require their staff to attend a work site must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility.

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 will also be 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.

Find out more about eligibility, information employers will need, how to issue a worker permit and carrying a permit here>

https://www.justice.vic.gov.au/permitted-worker-scheme

 

 

Victorian Stage 4 Business Restrictions – Security Services

Certain services and industries will be able to remain operational and will be required by law to have a COVID Safe Plan:  https://www.business.vic.gov.au/disputes-disasters-and-succession-planning/covid-safe-business/creating-a-covid-safe-workplace

The Victorian Government Stage 4 restrictions guide outlines essential industries: Security is addressed under the heading ‘Open (for on-site work) – COVID Safe Plan on page 7: Stage 4 Business Restictions

“Security services, where required for the safety of a permitted workplace.”

For information on the latest restrictions and to understand if your business can open under Stage 4 restrictions, visit : https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/stage-4-restrictions-covid-19

Review of Victoria’s Private Security Industry Issues Paper

The Victorian government has released the Issue Paper for the review of the Victorian private security industry. They are asking the security industry for feedback. .

The SPAAL is on the Victorian Security Industry Advisory Committee.

The Issues Paper has been prepared to guide you in providing your feedback. It has been developed in consultation with stakeholders, such as the Victorian Security Industry Advisory Committee, Victoria Police (the Regulator) and other industry representatives.

The Victorian government is seeking feedback, including personal experiences that highlight concerns or issues, in order to generate and present a range of options for reform.

This Options Paper seeks to:

  • communicate and seek feedback on issues already identified by stakeholders
  • draw out any new options and ideas for consideration, that can be used to inform recommendations for reform.

The Review will deliver its final report and recommendations to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, the Treasurer and the Premier by December 2020.

Victoria’s Private Security Industry Issues Paper

Submissions are due no later than 27 July 2020

Victorian Government Wage Theft Bill – Consultation Paper

The Government intends to introduce laws into the Victorian Parliament to criminalise wage theft in Victoria. This public consultation paper provides an overview of the proposed design of the offence and enforcement regime.

Wage Theft Consultation Paper   Feedback is invited by 9 March 2020.