The Federal Department of Health has issued a reminder on single site employment arrangements in Greater Melbourne.
“In line with the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer’s declaration of Greater Melbourne as a hotspot, workers at residential aged care facilities are reminded they should limit their work to a single facility during the initial high-risk two week period from May 27 to June 10,” a department statement read.
The department said this is another important measure in limiting the risk of transmission of COVID-19 between facilities to protect workers and residents.
“Workers are encouraged to speak with their employer and look to work all shifts during this period with the residential aged care provider that can offer the most hours.
“To the greatest extent possible, the employer should seek to match any hours no longer being worked with a secondary employer to ensure the worker is not financially disadvantaged.”
The statement also said it is important workers also retain the security of any secondary employment.
“Where these arrangements result in additional workforce expenses, providers are able to seek reimbursement from the Australian Government through the Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Grant.”
In line with the National COVID-19 Aged Care Plan, residential aged care providers should also maintain a worker register that records which of their employees work across multiple settings or lives with someone who does. Understanding this information is critical for contact tracing purposes.
Further support for workers and employers is available through the Guiding Principles Support Hub website (https://supporthub.agedservicesworkforce.com.au/) or hotline on 1800 491 793.
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) is an independent, free service to support older people and their family members during COVID-19.
Families can call OPAN on 1800 700 600 if they would like to talk with someone about the COVID-19 situation and its impact, or if worried about a loved one and need to talk to someone.
Elder Rights Advocacy (ERA) is the Victorian OPAN member who will be providing direct individual support to older people and their families and can be contacted through 1800 700 600.