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Construction Hours Extended During Coronavirus Pandemic

The construction industry and Melbourne and New South Wales will see extended work hours in a bid to support the construction industry during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The extended working hours will include commercial, large residential and mixed-use developments.

As of Thursday April 2nd, temporary rules have been introduced which will see work hours on Construction sites extended to weekend and public holidays. State Governments see this as an opportunity to support an industry riddled with insolvencies during a devastating time.

Planning and Public Spaces minister Rob Stokes has said the new rules in place will allow construction workers to follow social distancing measures while minimising the potential for lost productivity on site.

“The construction and development sectors, which make up almost 10 per cent of NSW’s economy, will be vital in keeping people in jobs and keeping investment flowing over the coming weeks and months. In NSW there are almost 400,000 people employed in the property and construction industry and we are committed to doing everything we can to keep each of them in work, but most importantly, to keep them safe and healthy. The extended hours allow the industry to facilitate social distancing on construction sites, while minimising the potential for lost productivity during the pandemic.” Stokes said.

The new work hours will be monitored closely to ensure there is no major impact on the community and surrounds of large construction sites.

In Victoria, the extension of work hours has been limited to the City of Melbourne, but does include temporary measures for the municipality to assist in fast-tracking construction projects, maintaining employment and limiting the economic impact of the coronavirus on the construction industry.

Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said the temporary arrangements will be reviewed on a month to month basis.

“We’re working to balance the need to save jobs in the construction sector by allowing different ways of working and still protecting public safety and amenity. “I want to stress that these changes are temporary,” Wood said.

In response to COVID-19, federal and state governments have acknowledged construction as an essential service and determined that it should remain in operation for the time being. Incorporating strict social distancing measures and virus protection efforts the construction industry is looking to remain up for the near future. Construction sites are now subject to health and safety precautions which limit the number of workers on site, enforce social distancing requirements, new personal hygiene guidelines and regular cleaning and sanitising of equipment.

What are the new hours?

Current legislation states construction hours are 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 3pm on Saturday. The temporary extension will see three extra hours will be allowed on Saturdays and six hours on of limited activity on Sunday. In addition, trades that do not have a significant impact on residential amenity (such as painting and plastering) will be extended until 10pm.

New work hours according to Melbourne.vic.gov.au

  • Weekdays: 6am to 8pm (and up to 10pm for some internal fitout works that aren’t externally audible e.g. plastering, painting, etc.)
  • Saturdays: 7am 5pm (and up to 10pm for some internal fitout works that aren’t externally audible e.g. plastering, painting, etc.)
  • Sundays: 10am until 4pm for limited activities related to crane works that are unable to be completed during standard hours.

Visit Melbourne.vic.gov.au to learn more

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