The work permit programme for Victoria has now started, with fines of $100,000 for companies and $20,000 for workers attempting to circumvent the system under the hard four coronavirus lockdown point.
Workers are “terrified” at leaving because of the strict new laws, said Innes Willox, chief executive of the Australian Industry Group.
The fines apply to employers issuing permits for workers who do not meet the scheme ‘s specifications or who flout the law. Workers caught on or off work without their papers face on-the-spot fines up to $1652.
Yesterday, Premier Daniel Andrews said the work permit scheme was “a relatively simple process” aimed at providing “the minimum number of people who travel around the city, the minimum number of people who work.”
He apologised for the economic damage that the shutdown would bring, saying it was “always difficult” to determine the businesses should be closed.
“People will have a piece of paper that says, ‘This is where I work, this is what I do’,” he said.
“This is old-fashioned common sense. It’s a piece of paper. Your employer fills it out. They sign it. You sign it.
“You carry it with you and then you’re able to demonstrate so there’s not a sense of anxiety or a sense of having to tell your story 17 times. If you’re pulled up by police, you can simply provide that piece of paper and then you would be waved on to go about your business.”