Victoria State Gov’t Withdraws WFH Guidance
AUSTRALIA – The state government of Victoria has lifted its work-from-home (WFH) guidance after active COVID cases in the state plunged from a peak of 71,428 in July to just 14,802 currently, reported Business News Australia on Thursday morning (1 September, SGT).
This comes after the Health Department stated that the pressure on the state’s healthcare capacity has fallen, while transmission risk had significantly alleviated.
In an announcement, Victorian Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas encouraged more people in the state to safely return to their workplace, like Melbourne’s central business district (CBD), to help the local economy.
However, workers and employers may still consider implementing remote work arrangements that are most suitable to their offices, as well as staff based on individual needs. Still, businesses with on-site operations, including home-based businesses, must have a COVIDSafe Plan that is regularly reviewed to make sure it is as up to date.
Meanwhile, the Property Council of Australia said that its delighted with Victoria’s decision to withdraw its WFH guidance as these would help Melbourne businesses recover, after office occupancy level in August was almost unchanged from the 38 percent recorded in the preceding month, which was a record low for Australia and marked a sharp decline from June 2022.
“Melbourne’s CBD has suffered more than any other, with last month’s occupancy figure of 38 percent a massive 14 percentage points behind Sydney, which was the next highest. On our lowest occupancy days, we are seeing only 19 percent of workers coming into the CBD on Mondays and Fridays,” said the council in a statement.
“The updated advice sends a much-needed signal of confidence to workers and businesses and will support increased CBD activity that will flow through to thousands of small businesses and their families. Victorian employers have a strong record of CovidSafe conduct and will do everything required to warmly welcome back workers to the office,” it added.