COVID Check-in Marshals and COVID Marshals play important roles which ensure workplaces are COVIDSafe, protecting workers and members of the community
What is a COVID Marshal?
The COVID Marshal is an important role that helps to keep workplaces COVIDSafe.
COVID Marshals are responsible for monitoring a worksite’s compliance with its COVIDSafe Plan and additional industry-specific obligations. They support workers to follow COVIDSafe principles and look for ways to continually improve a business’s COVIDSafe Plan, including entry screening, physical distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), workplace bubbles, hygiene, cleaning and record keeping.
COVID Marshals should wear clothing or an identifying badge that makes their role clear to co-workers.
COVID Marshals must not face discrimination or any adverse action for discharging their duties.
Who appoints the COVID Marshal?
Employers must appoint COVID Marshals and support them with the necessary training and resources.
Employers must consult with health and safety representatives, their workforce and worker representatives about the proposed appointment and role of COVID Marshals.
Employers should appoint multiple COVID Marshals if the nature, workforce demographics and layout of the work premises requires it.
Ideally, COVID Marshals should reflect the diversity of the workplace.
When is a COVID Marshal required on site? What guidance is there for small, medium and large workplaces?
There must be a COVID Marshal at the premises whenever workers are on-site. If there are small numbers of workers on a shift, then a worker can do the COVID Marshal role (following their training) and perform their normal duties.
Employers need to allow sufficient time in a workday for COVID Marshal duties. Each employer should assess how this will work, considering layout, workforce bubbles, and workforce demographics. As a guide it is recommended that in:
- small workplaces/venues of fewer than 40 workers and/or patrons or discrete bubbles within a workplace, the COVID Marshal completes these duties alongside their normal duties
- medium-sized workplaces/venues of 40-100 workers and/or patrons, at least one COVID Marshal is dedicated to COVID Marshal functions at least 50 per cent of the time
- large workplaces/venues, where more than 100 workers and/or patrons are on-site at any time, the equivalent of at least one full-time staff member should be dedicated to the COVID Marshal role so key elements of the COVIDSafe Plan (including additional industry-specific obligations) are checked and monitored throughout shifts.
Employers may need to appoint multiple COVID Marshals or train additional people as ‘deputies’ to fill the role during an absence or where there are distinct work areas and job roles.
Employers should consider the needs of their business and their employees to ensure the number of marshals and time available for marshal duties is adequate. Employers should consider maintaining the integrity of workplace bubbles and may implement a system similar to the fire-warden structure (where a chief warden who has time dedicated to the role and then sub-wardens who perform the role while performing their usual duties).
What functions do COVID Marshals perform?
COVID Marshals monitor compliance with COVIDSafe Plans, including additional industry-specific obligations, and provide prompt advice to employers and health and safety representatives about how to comply. They also encourage and coach workers on safe working practices.
This is to help keep the workplace safe and open, protecting employees, customers and their communities.
What records must employers keep?
Employers must keep records of the names of all appointed COVID Marshals and duty rosters for COVID Marshals.
As far as practical, they should also keep a record of:
- the process to appoint each COVID Marshal, including consultation with health and safety representative(s) and workers
- the instruction and training each COVID Marshal received after their appointment.
What is a COVID Marshal not?
A COVID Marshal is not:
- an occupational health and safety expert, unless they have appropriate qualifications and experience
- a health and safety representative
- undertaking a disciplinary or punitive role. COVID Marshals should focus on educating and encouraging co-workers to comply with COVIDSafe Plans including additional industry-specific obligations. Non-compliance should be dealt with by management in the usual way.