News & Views

6th August 2020

Eligibility rules for the Permitted Worker Scheme

Read this for answers to common questions about permits for employees under the Permitted Worker Scheme.  Permits must be in place by Friday this week.


Employers can issue a worker permit to their employee if:

  • the employees need to travel around Melbourne

  • 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.


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.


Are there circumstances where a permit is not required?

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, law enforcement, emergency services workers or healthcare workers who carry employer-issued photographic identification, which clearly identifies the employer.


What information will employers need to have in order to issue permits?

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 COVID-19 safe plan in place

  • to authorise a person or people to issue the worker permit.


Does each employee required to travel need a separate permit?

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


Do I need a permit as a Sole Trader?

Sole traders must issue a worker permit and sign the worker permit as both the employer and employee.


How to go about issuing worker permits to employees

  1. Download the Permitted worker permit and fill it out. Employers must use this template for all worker permits issued under this scheme.
  2. Complete and 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.
  1. Ask the employee to sign the worker permit. They can print and sign or sign electronically. 
  • You can send the permit worker permit electronically to your employees.
  • An employee may travel to work without a worker permit once to get their first permit.


Carrying permits – do employees need a printed version or is electronic ok?

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

A worker permit can be shown electronically to authorities such as a photo, or scanned email copy on a mobile device.


Using the permit - casual workers - what if the rostered hours change?

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

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 that they are on their way to work.


Using the permit - on call activity 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.


Using the permit - working across multiple sites

For an employer with multiple work sites, they may decide to designate an authorised person at each work site.

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

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

  • If employee is limited to a defined number of sites/addresses, list these and ensure a log-book is kept accordingly.

  • If addresses are unpredictable (ie. emergency call out work), then complete with ‘as directed by employer based on call out requirements’ (or as appropriate). Ensure a log-book is maintained accordingly.

  • Ideally the logbook should include the reason for visit, eg emergency, safety, critical, essential works etc, as well as dates and addresses.


If you need further assistance, call NECA 0n 1300 300 031.