Looking after our people

As leaders, it’s critical we help keep our people calm and provide them with access to up to date information to support them. Please take the following actions with your teams:

1. Practice good hygiene

The most important thing you can do to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus is to remind your people to practice good hygiene to protect against infection.

2. Limit large team gatherings

While the risk of infection within teams is low, Dr Armand Casolin, our Chief Health Officer, advises that large team gatherings, staff forums and briefings should be limited and that we promote the use of collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams for meetings, livestream events and collaboration. This is in line with guidance from NSW Health.

3. Respond to your people’s concerns

If one of your team is concerned about the safety of their workplace and Coronavirus, talk through the safety measures that are in place to protect them at all times. If there are further concerns, direct them to the Staywell Hub, where they can find information, tips, tools and resources to facilitate self-care and mental health support.

4. Send sick employees home

If you have someone who is showing flu-like symptoms, it’s unlikely they have Coronavirus. However, to stop the spread of any sickness, you should send staff home immediately if they are sick and showing flu like symptoms. Give them a surgical mask to wear if you have one handy to help stop the spread of sickness.

5. Understand when to self-isolate and when not to

An employee should self-isolate for 14 days for the following reasons:

  • If they have recently returned from overseas travel - note, as of 11:59pm on 28 March, all travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake their mandatory 14 day self-isolation at designated facilities (for example, a hotel).
  • If they have been in close contact with a confirmed Coronavirus case.

Please note, NSW Health will contact individuals who are identified as having close contact with a confirmed case. You should not be making this decision yourself.

If a staff member needs to self-isolate for 14 days, you should talk with them about them working from home if they are not showing any symptoms. If they cannot perform work remotely, they should be placed on paid Special Leave.

If a staff member is concerned that they may have come into contact with an infected person, they do not need to be sent home to self-isolate. Firstly, share this information and get them to call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 for further advice.

What is a close contact?

In line with NSW Health advice (as of 17 April 2020), a close contact is defined as requiring:

  • face-to-face contact in any setting with a confirmed or probable case, for greater than 15 minutes cumulative over the course of a week, in the period extending from 48 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed or probable case, or
  • sharing of a closed space with a confirmed or probable case for a prolonged period (e.g. more than 2 hours) in the period extending from 48 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed or probable case.

The public health unit will make contact with people who are close contacts of patients confirmed with the virus. If any symptoms develop, a close contacts must call the public health unit to report those symptoms.

As leaders, it’s critical we help keep our people calm and provide them with access to up to date information to support them. Please take the following actions with your teams:

1. Practice good hygiene

The most important thing you can do to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus is to remind your people to practice good hygiene to protect against infection.

2. Limit large team gatherings

While the risk of infection within teams is low, Dr Armand Casolin, our Chief Health Officer, advises that large team gatherings, staff forums and briefings should be limited and that we promote the use of collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams for meetings, livestream events and collaboration. This is in line with guidance from NSW Health.

3. Respond to your people’s concerns

If one of your team is concerned about the safety of their workplace and Coronavirus, talk through the safety measures that are in place to protect them at all times. If there are further concerns, direct them to the Staywell Hub, where they can find information, tips, tools and resources to facilitate self-care and mental health support.

4. Send sick employees home

If you have someone who is showing flu-like symptoms, it’s unlikely they have Coronavirus. However, to stop the spread of any sickness, you should send staff home immediately if they are sick and showing flu like symptoms. Give them a surgical mask to wear if you have one handy to help stop the spread of sickness.

5. Understand when to self-isolate and when not to

An employee should self-isolate for 14 days for the following reasons:

  • If they have recently returned from overseas travel - note, as of 11:59pm on 28 March, all travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake their mandatory 14 day self-isolation at designated facilities (for example, a hotel).
  • If they have been in close contact with a confirmed Coronavirus case.

Please note, NSW Health will contact individuals who are identified as having close contact with a confirmed case. You should not be making this decision yourself.

If a staff member needs to self-isolate for 14 days, you should talk with them about them working from home if they are not showing any symptoms. If they cannot perform work remotely, they should be placed on paid Special Leave.

If a staff member is concerned that they may have come into contact with an infected person, they do not need to be sent home to self-isolate. Firstly, share this information and get them to call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 for further advice.

What is a close contact?

In line with NSW Health advice (as of 17 April 2020), a close contact is defined as requiring:

  • face-to-face contact in any setting with a confirmed or probable case, for greater than 15 minutes cumulative over the course of a week, in the period extending from 48 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed or probable case, or
  • sharing of a closed space with a confirmed or probable case for a prolonged period (e.g. more than 2 hours) in the period extending from 48 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed or probable case.

The public health unit will make contact with people who are close contacts of patients confirmed with the virus. If any symptoms develop, a close contacts must call the public health unit to report those symptoms.