Single site workforce arrangements are one of the many infection control measures which have worked to help limit transmission of COVID-19.
On the advice of the Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sonya Bennett, in consultation with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and the Victorian Chief Health Officer, it is now been determined as appropriate for residential aged care providers in Victoria to commence transitioning out of single site arrangements.
This transition should occur over the next two weeks, with the end of single site employment on December 3, after which time workers can return to usual working arrangements.
Providers are reminded to stay informed with local public health measures, including those set out in the Workplace (Additional Industry Obligations) Directions (No 57) in Victoria.
Support implementing these arrangements
The Federal Government says it recognises that implementing single site arrangements has been complex and may result in additional out of pocket costs for approved providers.
The Support for Aged Care Workers In COVID-19 (SACWIC) grant opportunity remains open to enable approved providers to seek reimbursement for out of pocket expenses associated with implementing these arrangements.
To date, a total of 81 applications have been approved through this grant opportunity, supporting more than 270 facilities with over $25 million in reimbursements.
Eligible providers are encouraged to consider the out of pocket costs they have incurred implementing these arrangements and apply for reimbursement where appropriate.
As the activity period for residential aged care facilities in NSW and the ACT has now ended, applications can now be made until December 31,2021.
Providers in Victoria can apply from December 3, once single site employment arrangements have ended.
Examples of eligible workforce costs under SACWIC are those that will support eligible workers:
- who normally work at multiple residential aged care facilities, but will be working solely at the facility being applied for;
- who are not to attend work because they have been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, require testing or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements; or
- to undertake training in the event a skills gap arises from where existing workers are not to work due to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements.
The Grant Opportunity Guidelines, online application form and regularly updated responses to frequently asked questions can be accessed on GrantConnect (Grant Opportunity – GO4215).
For those locations where single site arrangements are still active, please continue to monitor this advice and contact the Guiding Principles Support Hub website or hotline on 1800 491 793 for any queries.
Completing your SACWIC grant application
To apply, complete the online grant opportunity application form available on GrantConnect. You will need to address all eligibility criteria and include all necessary attachments.
Applications remain open until December 31, 2021.