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Seasonal Workers Health Management Plans Direction

Summary

Effective from: 12:01 am on Tuesday 5 May 2020

Posted: 1 May 2020

Direction from Chief Health Officer in accordance with emergency powers arising from the declared public health emergency

Public Health Act 2005 (Qld)

Section 362B

On 29 January 2020, under the Public Health Act 2005, the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services made an order declaring a public health emergency in relation to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The public health emergency area specified in the order is for ‘all of Queensland’. Its duration has been extended by regulation to 17 August 2020 and may be further extended.

Further to this declaration, l, Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer, reasonably believe it is necessary to give the following directions pursuant to the powers under s 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

Citation

  1. This Public Health Direction may be referred to as the Seasonal Workers Health Management Plan Direction.
  2. This Public Health Direction is to be read in conjunction with other Public Health Directions issued under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 that have not expired or been revoked.

PART 1 — DIRECTION – SEASONAL WORKERS HEALTH MANAGEMENT PLANS

  1. These Directions apply from the 12:01 am on Tuesday 5 May 2020 until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless they are revoked or replaced.
  2. A person who owns, controls or operates one or more of the following businesses or service providers must have a health management plan:
    1. an agribusiness that employs seasonal workers;
    2. a commercial fisheries business that employs seasonal workers;
    3. a labour hire firm that employs seasonal workers; or
    4. an accommodation facility that houses or is available to house seasonal workers: or
    5. a private or charter workforce transportation provider that provides services to a business described in sub-paragraph 4(a) – (d).

      Note: Accommodation facilities are subject to the Non-Essential Business, Activity and Undertaking Closure Direction (No. 8) or its successor.

  3. A person required to have a health management plan under paragraph 4 must operate the business in accordance with the health management plan.
  4. The Chief Health Officer may give a person or class of persons in paragraph 4 an exemption from the requirement to have a health management plan if the Chief Health Officer considers:
    1. having a health management plan is not reasonably necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19 within the business or the community due to the particular arrangements of the person’s business; or
    2. other exceptional circumstances exist that merit the person or class of persons not being required to have a health management plan.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Public Health Direction:

  1. Health management plan means a plan to manage preventing the transmission of COVID-19 amongst employees, seasonal workers and the community that complies with the requirements specified by the Chief Health Officer.
  2. Seasonal worker means:
    1. an employee or contractor who usually resides outside of Queensland who:
      1. holds a letter of appointment from a person in paragraph 4; and
      2. travels to Queensland to work in agribusiness or commercial fishing; and
      3. travels on an itinerant basis within Queensland to meet seasonal labour needs; or
    2. an employee or contractor who usually resides in Queensland who:
      1. holds a letter of appointment from a person in paragraph 4; and
      2. travels on an itinerant basis within Queensland to work in agribusiness or commercial fishing to meet seasonal labour needs; and
      3. does not return to their usual place of residence in Queensland each day.

    An employee of a federal, state or local government while working in their official capacity is not a seasonal worker.

PART 2 - PENALTIES

A person to whom the direction applies commits an offence if the person fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the direction.

Section 362D of the Public Health Act 2005 provides:

Failure to comply with public health directions

  • A person to whom a public health direction applies must comply with the direction unless the person has a reasonable excuse.
  • Maximum penalty—100 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment.

Dr Jeannette Young
Chief Health Officer

1 May 2020

Published on the Queensland Health website 1 May 2020 at 11.25pm

Last updated: 21 July 2020

Understanding this Direction

Information to help you understand what this Direction means for employees, seasonal workers and Queensland's local communities.

Find out more

Workplace Health Management Plan Template

Plan to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 into Queensland workplaces and communities

This Workplace Health Management Plan template (DOCX 250 kB) is for:

  • Workplaces in the agribusiness and commercial fishing industry who employ, or have as visitors or contractors, interstate workers or seasonal workers and therefore must submit Workplace Health Management Plans under The Queensland Chief Health Officer Public Health Direction
  • Queensland businesses wishing to assess their plans to control COVID-19 associated risks

This template includes a checklist that may be used in conjunction with the Health PlanTemplate as a self-assessment checklist to identify ways to reduce transmission of COVID1-19 within a workplace and assist business continuity.

Industry Guideline: COVID-19 Risk mitigation for food businesses (PDF 131 kB)
Guidance for food businesses on ways to restrict the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and wider community and assist with business continuity.

Accommodation / Transport Health Management Plan Template

Accommodation and private or charter workforce transportation providers

This Health Management Plan template (DOCX 239 kB) is for:

  • Accommodation providers who are required to have a health management plan under the Chief Health Officer Public Health Direction
  • Private or charter workforce transportation providers that provide services to certain businesses and accommodation as described under the Seasonal Workers Health Management Plans Direction
  • Queensland businesses wishing to assess their plans to control COVID-19 associated risks.

Industry Guideline: Certain accommodation and transport providers (PDF 131 kB)
This guideline has been prepared to assist those accommodation and transport providers who are required to have a health management plan under a Chief Health Officer Public Health Direction, and describes the measures that can be implemented to minimise risk of COVID-19 transmission.