Seasonal Horticulture and You Pick Sector Guidance
Seasonal Horticulture Workplaces
Further to the Premier’s press conference on 8 November and the release of Workplace (Additional Industry Obligations) Directions (No 11) there are two important changes to the seasonal workforce testing requirements effective from 11:59pm Sunday 8 November 2020.
- The requirement for seasonal workers relocating from Melbourne to regional Victoria to have a COVID negative test has been removed.
- The surveillance testing program remains in place and is applicable to all farms in Victoria. DHHS has advised this means an employer undertaking seasonal horticulture work must allow (and keep records of) DHHS to carry out COVID-19 surveillance testing on its seasonal workers for at the seasonal Work Premises if requested. The focus for surveillance testing, at this current time, remains on farms in and around Melbourne.
All other requirements for seasonal horticulture (fruit and vegetable) remain in place including the need for a Seasonal Horticulture Worker COVIDSafe plan, use of worker bubbles and other COVID safe practices, increased record keeping, and a COVIDSafe plan for accommodation and transportation where it is within the responsibility of the employer or labour hire provider.
The range of materials prepared for seasonal horticulture are being updated and will be available shortly on the Victorian Government website.
The latest Additional Directions can be found on the DHHS website: Workplace (Additional Industry Obligations Directions) (No 11)
Information on seasonal horticulture worker guidance and COVIDSafe plan can be found on the Victorian Government Coronavirus website.
There is also a range of other materials that can be used in your workplace. They include posters, signs and stickers to communicate key messages to workers (and customers), as well as multi-language products. The campaign materials are downloadable on the Victorian Government Coronavirus website.
Please download the following documents for more information:
These documents are also available on the Victorian Government coronavirus website. Please click the links below to access them.
Another useful resource for businesses is the WorkSafe OHS Essentials Program, view this information on the WorkSafe website. This is a WorkSafe program run independently of WorkSafe.
Seasonal Worker Information
Information, resources and the recording from the Seasonal Worker Information Session held on November 4 is available on our website.
Pick your own farms
We have received advice that pick your own farms are treated as a retail business under the public health directions. These businesses are permitted to operate subject to the following requirements:
- the density quotient for each indoor space; and
- the signage requirement for each indoor space; and
- the records requirement, except where not practicable to do so; and
- the cleaning requirement.
Further information on these requirements is available on the Victorian Government coronavirus website.
All businesses across Victoria are required to have a COVIDSafe Plan in place. Please visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au for information on COVIDSafe Plans.
If you have any questions or would like some assistance relating to the new restrictions, please get in touch with our Business team, Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm on 1300 368 333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.