One of the nation’s most recognised names in home services is taking on the lockout restrictions of Victoria’s premier over Stage 4.
Premier Daniel Andrews revealed on Monday that thousands of providers would be barred from functioning effective from Wednesday under the newly-implemented State of Disaster.
But the founder of ‘Jim’s Group’ Jim Penman has asked franchisees to continue operating.
Addressing the media, Andrews said: “there will be no cleaners, there will be no mowing your lawns.”
He says the government’s own guidelines state-building and grounds maintenance staff are permitted to operate where appropriate to protect the Victorians’ health and safety at home.
Under new legislation revealed on Tuesday, Victorians can be slapped with a $4,957 penalty found violating the state’s COVID-19 rules.
Victorians who leave their homes for work under Stage 4 lockout restrictions will now also be forced to provide permits if the police pull them over.
Penman says he will pay it if franchisors are prosecuted-then appeal it to the government of the State.
“I just don’t think (Andrews) knew what the guidelines are,” Penman said.
Australia’s Franchise Council claims Penman is going too far in support of its employees.
“Encouraging people to break the rules is absolutely irresponsible,” a Franchise Council spokesperson said.
The shutdown measures have impoverished employees across the state, with many qualifying for government income assistance.
The Premier says the decision to enter a State of Emergency was not taken lightly, but based on public health recommendations was the only path forward.
“As heartbreaking as it is to close places of employment, that is what we have to do,” Andrews said.
“Throughout all of this, we’ve tried to be as logical as possible to understand intricate and detailed supply chains and be aware of all the consequences of each decision we make.
“All of this will be challenging and very difficult but it is what is necessary.”
Victoria recorded 439 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, with 11 new deaths.