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New worker guidelines for Victorian orchards

Industry Best Practice

Growers and labour hire companies need to have clear processes for monitoring and protecting casual workers as part of new guidelines surrounding safe work in Victoria.  

The guidelines apply to the entire horticulture industry in Victoria, and is aimed at curbing potential spread of COVID-19 among casual and seasonal workers.  

The focus of the guidelines centered on:  

  • Testing and record keeping requirements 
  • Creating a workforce bubble  
  • Wearing face masks 
  • Creating a COVID-safe workplace

Critically, both growers and labour hire providers, as well as those providing accommodation, are subject to the guidelines.  

Any seasonal worker who has been in Melbourne in the two weeks prior must also provide evidence of a negative test result. The negative test result cannot be older than four days 

Growers will need to allow DHHS’ mobile testing service on-site and with access to employees, while they will also need evidence of a COVID-safe plan, which has been in place for several months.  

DHHS has provided templates for COVID-safe plans that can be used, however businesses are able to have their own plan in place and do not have to follow this plan specifically. 

The guidelines were announced on Monday with a grace period of two weeks, meaning 26th October is the date by which growers need to be following these guidelines.  

Click here to check out the new guidelines.  

Click here to create a COVIDSafe Plan (Business Victoria).

Click here for the National Farmer’s Federation (NFF) COVID-19 guide. 

Click here for Victoria-specific COVID information.  

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