1. Home
  2. COVID-19 Info Hub
  3. COVID-19 Victorian Updates
COVID-19 Reece Response

Latest Updates: Victoria

27 September 2020, 4.00pm

Restrictions for construction and outdoor sole traders ease across metro Melbourne

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a gradual easing of restrictions across metro Melbourne. Moving to the second step of the government roadmap means that restrictions have been relaxed for large scale construction sites and brings some good news for outdoor sole traders.

  • Gardeners and landscapers who work for themselves will be able to return to work from 11.59pm, Sunday 27 September.
  • Large-scale construction moves from ‘heavily restricted’ to ‘restricted’. This means the number of workers allowed onsite has increased from 25% to 85%, or 15 people, whichever is greater.

To enable this change:

  • construction sites must assign a COVIDSafe monitor; and
  • audit the existing High Risk COVIDSafe plan.

We will keep you updated as more information becomes available and additional updates are made. For more information on the current restrictions impact your business, visit the Industry Restrictions Roadmap.

6 August 2020, 5.30pm

Construction guidelines for tradies under Melbourne’s Stage 4 Restrictions

The government has released guidelines for businesses impacted by Melbourne’s Stage 4 restrictions. These include specific guidelines for construction businesses—including tradies, site managers and business owners.

The latest updates can be found via Business Victoria here.

The guidelines detail everything from rules around carpooling to specific guidelines for small-scale and large-scale construction projects, across residential and commercial sectors.

If you are working onsite or managing a project, it’s vital that you read through these guidelines carefully. As a reminder, every site needs the appropriate COVID Safe Plan in place by 11:59pm Friday 7th August.

While we’re working to keep you informed, you should reach out to your relevant Industry Association to find out what today’s announcement means for you.

You can find additional links to regularly updated information below:

During times like these, supporting each other and checking in on our mates is really important.

At Reece, we offer counselling services, mental health and wellbeing support via our Employee Assistance Program. Our customers can call 1800 808 374 to chat to qualified experts who are here to listen and help us all navigate this challenging time.

In the meantime, all Reece trade branches are currently open to support you, with click and collect options available so you can keep essential jobs moving.

Stay safe.

5 August 2020, 9.00am

Permitted Worker Scheme has been introduced

The Victorian Government has outlined the process for the ‘permitted worker scheme’. You’ll need to carry a permit with you all the time in Metropolitan Melbourne area, from midnight tonight, so you can continue your essential work.

Employers need to complete the permit process on behalf of people who work for them, and the government have put in significant fines for any false information and working without a permit.

So, it’s important you get on to this today.

Here’s the what you need to do:

  • Download the template and complete it.
    • You can download the permit from the Department of Justice here
    • Employers must use this template for all worker permits issued under this scheme.

  • 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.

  • Ask the employee to sign the worker permit. They can print and sign or sign electronically.
    • You can email or text the worker permit to your employee.
    • An employee may travel to work without a worker permit just one time, to get their first permit.

We’ll continue to keep you up to date over the next 6 weeks of Stage 4 restrictions.

Don’t forget, our stores continue to remain open for trade customers, our product supply is unaffected, and you can place orders on maX and organise contactless delivery.

4 August 2020, 11.00am

What Stage 4 Restrictions Mean For You And Your Business

Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews yesterday announced that masks must be worn, from midnight this Sunday, across the entire state of Victoria.

Yesterday, Premier Daniel Andrews announced what Stage 4 restrictions will look like for industries across Metro Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, effective 11:59pm Wednesday 5th August, for six weeks.

While providing essential services during this period is challenging, tradies remain a vital cog to the health and safety of our community and are the lifeblood of the economy.

We’re here to support you and your business. We will be remaining open to support the essential work you do, and will keep you updated so that you can operate safely and remain on the tools.

What you need to know right now

  1. Our trade stores will remain open and supply will not be impacted.
    Our trade stores will remain open to support the essential work that you do. Our online platform maX is open too, and we’re providing contactless delivery and click and collect

  2. Only essential maintenance work can be carried out at homes and businesses.
    From 11.59pm Wednesday 5th August, only essential maintenance work that keeps communities safe and healthy can be carried out at homes and businesses.
    This includes working to keep food cold in supermarkets, providing running water and heating, and ensuring sanitation. Non-essentials include cosmetic repairs or property updates.

  3. All construction sites must have a COVID Safe Plan.
    A COVID safe plan includes regular cleaning, one worker per four square metres of enclosed workspace or in shared areas and records of all personnel on site for more than 15 minutes. Sites must also prove that there is no blending or crossover of shifts.
    There are two types of COVID Safe Plans; High Risk COVID Safe Plans for large-scale construction, state and civil projects, and Universal COVID Safe Plans for small-scale construction.
    To make sure that your business is operating lawfully, with the correct plan, visit Business Victoria.

  4. Small-scale construction projects can only have 5 crew onsite at any one time.
    Construction projects under three storeys can continue with a maximum of 5 people onsite. Sites must have a Universal COVID Safe Plan to keep all workers safe.

  5. Large-scale construction projects can continue with 25% of the usual working team.
    For large scale construction (projects over three storeys excluding basements), a maximum of 25% of the normal working crew, including supervisors, are allowed onsite. Each site must have a High Risk COVID Safe plan.

  6. State and state civil construction projects will go ahead without crew reductions.
    Critical construction projects including state and state civil construction will go ahead, however sites will need to have a High Risk COVID safe Plan.

  7. If you are currently working at a construction site, you cannot start working at any new sites over the next six weeks.
    Where you are working on Thursday is the only site you can work on during this restriction period. However, we know that industry bodies have voiced concerns about this restriction — watch this space for updates.

  8. Financial support packages are coming.
    The Victorian and Federal Governments have announced financial support for businesses impacted by these new restrictions. We will keep you informed of updates as they happen.

We’ll be in touch with more information to support you and your business during these restrictions.

3 August 2020, 9.00am

It’s essential that plumbers continue to help prevent disease

As the state of Victoria faces one of its toughest challenges yet, we’re doing everything we can to support tradies in keeping the community healthy and safe.

Following the announcement of Level 4 restrictions across Victoria, we have moved quickly to ensure we continue to provide the level of service our customers demand, and the community expects.

“The heart of our business is supporting the repair and maintenance plumber, the small local tradie. Providing clean water and sanitation is critical, particularly during a health crisis such as this,” says Peter Wilson, Group CEO, Reece Group.

In 1919, when the Spanish flu ravaged the world, the plumber became essential to society – ensuring people had access to clean water and sanitation in their homes, to stop the acceleration of the virus – coining the phase, “Doctors Cure, Plumbers Prevent”.

“Our current crisis is no different – plumbers play a key role in preventing disease, we must do everything we can to enable our plumbers to support the Victorian Community”, Mr Wilson said.

Since the pandemic began, Reece has continued to keep our people and the community safe. Since March, the Reece Group has taken significant steps to achieve this:

    • Our social distancing approach was an industry first, successfully keeping our people and customers well.
    • Our 450 Melbourne based head office team have been working from home – supporting our 5000 people and 640 branches across the country remotely.

“Our network also has the experience required to navigate the new normal across Victoria, as we have been through the lockdown in New Zealand. In NZ, we supported the community with the provision of essential services during Stage 4 restrictions,” says Mr Wilson.

Overnight, the Reece Group held discussions with Government and industry, as the next stage of restrictions are being worked through. Our aim is to support all sectors in finding the right balance of keeping the community healthy and well, while keeping the economy moving.

Here is a little more about the role plumbers, and Reece, play in keeping the community safe across Victoria. 

31 July 2020, 9.00am

Masks mandatory across Victoria

Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews yesterday announced that masks must be worn, from midnight this Sunday, across the entire state of Victoria.

We’re asking our people, and our customers, to wear masks when visiting us in branch.

Our priority is to keep our people and customers safe and well while supporting you to carry out essential services for our community.

You’ll continue to receive the same level of customised service. Don’t forget that maX is a great tool if you’d like to make an order online or arrange a click-and-collect.

As always, if you have any questions, please speak to your branch manager.

9 July 2020, 12.00pm

Restrictions reintroduced across Metro Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire

Today metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire entered stage three restrictions which are expected to last for six weeks. 

As an essential service, we are keeping our doors open to support our customers who have an important job to do, to keep the community comfortable and well in their homes.

We have extensive social distancing and hygiene protocols in place across all our branches to ensure our people and customers are safe and healthy.

In regional Victoria we will be complying with the government direction to request identification from all non-account customers who visit our stores, for record-keeping purposes. We have an obligation to refuse service to non-account customers who live in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire.

Our account customers, who are tradespeople, are considered an essential service therefore are able to travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria for work, and we maintain electronic records of these transactions.

If you are not an account customer and you plan on visiting one of our showrooms or branches in regional Victoria, please bring your identification and help us keep each other safe by complying with our record-keeping and health and safety protocols.