COVID-19 information for our workforce and clients

Updated: 1 July 2020

 

We are Prepared – Business Continuity

Alliance Community has actively monitored the situation from the outset, following advice from the Australian Government and Australian Government Department of Health with early preparations sustaining continued quality services to clients and customers, and providing support to employees.

Alliance Community established its own task force responsible for overseeing the situation, ensuring that current and evolving protocols identify risk of infection, and ensure COVIDsafe and infection control procedures are effectively implemented and adhered to. Successful implementation of remote work technologies has ensured we maintain the high level of the quality our clients have come to expect.

 

‘NEW’ BUSINESS as Usual: COVIDsafe

Since the emergence of COVID-19, business is not the same as before. The good news is, by taking the right measures, Alliance Community has demonstrated business can continue and we can assist our clients to be safe and flourish. Guided by the governance of our Clinical and Senior Leadership Team, these steps are being undertaken to protect our staff and customers:

  • Proactive screening, risk assessment and review of staff and clients, and ongoing monitoring
  • Staff are informed and have completed the government training on COVID-19 and infection control
  • Having PPE stocks available
  • Adhering to government advice on when our employees should wear PPE and rapidly updating our practices if government advice changes
  • Communicating our Emergency Preparedness and Mandatory Notification requirements to employees
  • Providing clear directives that our employees must not come to work or visit clients if they are unwell. In particular, if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms (such as fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath) or have had close contact with someone who has been confirmed as having COVID-19, or someone who is currently being tested for COVID-19
  • Adoption of new work schedule and hygiene practices, tailored to the client and work environment
  • Reinforcing handwashing and hand-sanitising protocols: upon arrival, before/after direct contact and at regular intervals throughout the day
  • Staying up-to-date with the latest news on COVID-19, released by the applicable state and national government agencies, and communicating this to staff and customers
  • Monitoring the mental wellbeing of staff and clients, providing access to support services as  required

Alliance Community Mandatory Notification Protocol

Alliance Community Mandatory Notification Protocol for On-hire Staff, has been reviewed on 19 June 2020 based on the Australian Department of Health Guidelines.

Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, or contacted by a Health Department/Public Health Unit and asked to self-isolate:

  • Must comply with medical & Health Department advice
  • Must advise their Manager/Supervisor IMMEDIATELY

Anyone who believes they have been in close contact (being face to face for at least 15-mins, or been in the same closed space for at least 2-hrs) with a confirmed COVID-19 positive person:

  • Must advise their Manager/Supervisor IMMEDIATELY
  • Must seek medical attention for consideration of testing for COVID-19
  • Must not attend work until cleared by a medical practitioner

If an employee suspects that they may be infected and are waiting on test results but cannot be isolated at home, they will need to contact a public health unit who will assess and advise on the next steps.

Anyone who is unwell and has *flu-like symptoms:

  • Must contact your Manager/Supervisor IMMEDIATELY
  • Must seek medical attention for consideration of testing for COVID-19
  • Provide a medical note for return to work

* flu-like symptoms: People with coronavirus may experience:

  • Fever
  • Flu like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
  • Shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
  • loss of smell and loss of taste

Reference: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19#symptoms
 

Australia’s borders are closed. Only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia. Anyone entering or returning to Australia:

  • Must observe the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement at designated facilities as required by the Department of Home Affairs  
  • Must contact their Manager/Supervisor IMMEDIATELY

International travel:

  • On 24 March 2020, the Prime Minister announced a ban on Australians travelling overseas under the Biosecurity Act 2015. This will help prevent travellers returning to Australia with coronavirus
  • There are limited exceptions, for example to allow people to return home if their normal place of residence is overseas. This process is managed by the Department of Home Affairs and the revised restrictions can be reviewed on their website 

Staff who remain overseas and are unable to return

  • Must contact your Manager/Supervisor IMMEDIATELY
  • Must observe the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement on your return to Australia 

Staff who have recently returned from interstate and must meet current State Border closure restrictions: 

  • Must contact your Manager/Supervisor IMMEDIATELY
  • Must observe the state border control requirements, other than for seeking  individual medical care

COVID-19 Border closures requiring mandatory self-isolation, remain in effect in several Australian states. Emergency and health workers, and essential workers may be considered exempt from some restrictions.

With the recent changes to state border controls we have prepared the below summary of these restrictions and what exceptions are in place for essential services.

Intrastate and Regional Hotspot Restrictions:

Travel within a state may see restrictions if there are declared ‘hotspots’ of infection.

Staff are required to:

  • Keep informed and observe the lockdown requirements of their locality
  • Must contact your Manager/Supervisor IMMEDIATELY if your travel to/from hotspots may impact your work

It is your responsibility to ensure you have checked the relevant Government advice in the links provided for the most up-to-date information.

The Healthdirect Australia Restriction Checker has advice on what restrictions are in place in each state and territory across Australia.

NSW:  NSW Government Health: 

SA:     SA Health: 

VIC:  Victorian Health and Human Services:   

*WA:   Western Australia Department of Health:  

ACT:  ACT Government Health: 

* QLD: QLD Government:  

* NT:  Northern Territory Government:  

* Indigenous Communities: Government and Community Directions are in place to restrict the movement of people in and out of remote areas. Healthcare staff are required to meet the requirements of the specific local community risk assessment process and permit systems. Restrictions that apply in remote communities is available at:  Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships website.

Facility-based restrictions:

  • Certain health services/clients/host employers are implementing restrictions on staff entry requirements, based on the above criteria
  • It is therefore essential that you contact us if you believe your circumstances are within the criteria above
  • Aged Care Facilities must take extra precautions due to the vulnerability of their residents including only accepting staff who have received this year’s flu vaccination, unless they have a documented medical contraindication to receiving the vaccine 

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-workers-in-residential-aged-care-facilities

Worker Screening:

New candidates will be asked to complete a survey prior to attending an interview, or a new assignment to confirm:

  • Any recent international, interstate or regional hotshot travel and two-week self-isolation details
  • Not experiencing flu like symptoms
  • Any close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19


Notification to Host Employers of On-hire Worker with Confirmed Case of COVID19
If an on hire staff member is confirmed as positive for COVID-19, the staff member must inform Alliance Community as per compliance with this protocol.

Once informed, Alliance Community will, under the direction of the Public Health Unit seek to facilitate notification to host employers/clients, as per their requirements.

Alliance Community will seek the authority from the worker to release this information to at risk host workplaces / clients, as determined by risk assessment of diagnosis and work placement timelines, an as per the direction of the Public Health Unit or Health Department.

Whilst worker consent is also sought, Alliance Community notes there is also an exception under the Privacy Act around disclosure without consent, if we reasonably believe the use or disclosure is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual, or to public health or safety.

 

Keeping up to date:

Australia’s current situation is changing rapidly. You can keep up to date with these changes via the following:

1. Health:
Australian Government Department of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/

NSW Health: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/control guideline/Pages/novel-coronavirus.aspx

Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080

If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.

CDNA National guidelines for public health units: National Guidelines developed in consultation with the Communicable Diseases Network Australia and endorsed by the Australian Health Protection Principle Committee https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cdna-song-novel-coronavirus.htm

2. Travel:
Department of Home Affairs: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus

Recruitment Solutions has an obligation to staff, clients, patients & participants to ensure the safety of all concerned and we will continue to monitor and update guidelines and processes based on the health departments recommendations.

As your employer, we request that we are kept informed of any change in your status and your progress as per this notification protocol.

If you believe, your circumstances are within the criteria above or if you wish to speak to someone regarding your personal circumstances, please contact your Manager/ Supervisor IMMEDIATELY.

If you have any further questions, please review FAQs