The Federal Government says it is closely monitoring the situation across the country, particularly in Queensland. New South Wales and Victoria.
Workers at residential aged care facilities in these areas are asked to limit their work to a single facility to reduce the risk of transmission and protect workers and residents.
Providers in these areas are asked to adjust their rosters and ensure staff are only working at one residential aged care facility within this region during this time.
Workers are encouraged to speak with their primary employer and look to work all shifts during this period with the residential aged care provider where they were working the most hours prior to the outbreak.
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.
It is important workers also retain the security of any secondary employment.
The use of agency staff is permitted but should be limited, while still ensuring an adequate standard of care for residents.
Where required, agency workers should be booked in shifts and extra precaution should be taken to ensure the risk of transmission is minimised.
In all hotspot locations, facilities should take additional steps to minimise transmission risks where possible – screening, testing, PPE usage, and tracking staff movements.
Where these arrangements result in additional workforce expenses, providers are able to seek reimbursement from the Federal Government through the Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Grant.
The SACWIC grant opportunity remains open until December 31.
In addition to funding support, providers can also access guidance on practical implementation of single site arrangements, including employee relations expertise, through the Guiding Principles Support Hub website or hotline on 1800 491 793.