The founder of the Jim’s Group of brands has raised the ire of Victorians by seemingly encouraging his franchisees to break Victoria’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Under the state’s current stage 4 lockdown restrictions, dozens of previously permitted services have been banned from operating.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced the new rules on Monday during his press conference, at one stage pinpointing some of the services offered by Jim’s Group franchisees.

“There will be no cleaners, there will be no mowing your lawns,” Andrews told the media.

But Jim Penman, the actual Jim behind the name, has told his franchisees that the rules don’t apply to household and ground maintenance arguing that maintenance workers are essential to keep up the health and safety for Victorians stuck at home.

Penman has offered to pay any fines attracted by his franchisees, but says that he would challenge the government on the restrictions.

Under Victoria’s stage 4 restrictions, the government lists “residential repair and maintenance” is only permitted “by exception” and with a COVID Safe Plan.

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