City of Melbourne staff to return to CBD workplaces

The City of Melbourne is stepping up its commitment to have staff return safely to the office as a critical step to support city businesses.

​Councillors last night endorsed the City of Melbourne CEO’s commitment to staff returning to city workplaces in line with the easing of State Government restrictions.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the City of Melbourne employs 1602 staff and their physical return to workplaces will be a show of confidence in the city economy.

“As soon as it is safe to do so, the City of Melbourne is committed to having 100 per cent of our workforce return to on-site work,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Health and safety will always be a top priority but we want to provide a signal to our city businesses that we know how important city workers are to remaining viable.

“Having office workers return in larger numbers is an important step forward for city businesses that have recently endured some of the toughest trading conditions in generations.

“I’m encouraging all other city employers to consider the benefits for their teams of bringing workers back to the city office and the huge impact for bringing Melbourne back.”

This week the Victorian Government is expected to consider whether to increase the return to workplace caps and reassess other restrictions, including the wearing of masks in the workplace.

Portfolio Lead for Small Business, Councillor Jason Chang, said the central city economy is usually home to almost 500,000 jobs.

“We’ve seen in New South Wales that the return of city workers to Sydney has helped lift confidence and boosted trade across the city economy,” Cr Chang said.

“It’s critical that we see more workers return to key precincts such as Docklands which is normally home to more than 72,000 jobs.”

“We are requesting the Victorian Government provides a detailed timeline on when and how workplace caps will be increased so we can respond without delay.”

“City workers shop at the restaurants, shops and bars and visit art galleries and other attractions that make Melbourne the engine room of Victoria’s economy.

“As a small business owner I know how difficult trading conditions have been and every person that returns to the city is another potential sale for local businesses that have struggled through such tough trading conditions.”

Roy Morgan recently surveyed more than 500 city workers on behalf of the City of Melbourne and found the majority would feel safe to return to work if COVID-safe procedures were in place.

Business leaders have a critical role to play in bringing people safely back to the workplace, with more than half of those interviewed indicating their decision to return was largely influenced by their direct manager or CEO.

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