The most important action we can take right now as leaders and as a community is to help contain the spread of infection. According to the health experts, including our own Dr Armand Casolin, the simplest, most effective step is to actively promote and practise good hygiene by:
A close contact is defined as:
People who have been in close contact with any confirmed Coronavirus case must remain isolated at home for 14 days following exposure. You should discuss with your manager about working from home if you are not showing any symptoms. If you cannot perform work from home, Special Leave will be granted for a period of up to 20 days.
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.
Leaders must direct employees who are obviously unwell or those required to self-isolate to go home and seek appropriate medical advice.
Social distancing means we reduce the number of close physical and social contacts we have with one another to prevent the spread of the virus.
While practising social distancing, people can travel to work (including on public transport). For non-essential activities outside the workplace or attendance at schools, universities and childcare social distancing can include:
Face masks are not recommended for the general public unless you are unwell and masks should be saved for people to use when they are sick. Information about the use of masks is located on the NSW Health website.
Based on advice from the NSW Government we are transitioning into working from home arrangements for those in roles where this is possible. This transition is not a directive, but an option to help us provide essential services to NSW. You can read more about working from home here. Your leader will take an active role in driving this planning.
If you are working from home whilst also providing care to a family member, it is expected that you can balance caring responsibilities with your ability to undertake productive work. Other leave provisions can apply if you are required to undertake caring responsibilities.
Employees who are considered at a higher risk of infection will be transitioned to working from home arrangements, where this is possible in their role. Your leader will take an active role in planning this transition. We strongly encourage you to consider the option to stay at home now and we will support you to do so.
If it is not possible to work from home, and no alternate duties are available for you, you will be able to access paid special leave.
You should provide evidentiary documentation within a reasonable timeframe (i.e. within 7 days). Options for evidentiary requirements to support a request for special leave due to chronic medical condition may include:
From 16 March onwards, if you have returned to Australia from overseas from any country, you must self-isolate for 14 days from the day you arrive back in Australia as a precaution and monitor yourself for symptoms.
As of 11:59pm on Saturday 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). Special leave (up to 20 days) will be granted for these purposes. Further details can be found on NSW Health website.
The Australian Government has advised that from midday on 25 March, all Australians are restricted from travelling overseas. In addition, Tasmania, Northern Terrorities, Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia have announced border closures. See specific State and Terrority government websites for further information.
The NSW Treasury Managed Fund (TMF) can assist with obtaining a credit or refund to our budgets where flights have been cancelled.
You should not attend work and should seek medical advice. Refer to the health advice which is located on the NSW Health website or call healthdirect on 1800 022 222. You should apply for sick leave to cover your absence.
Coronavirus is not currently circulating widely in the community in NSW so where contact occurs with an individual who is unwell, they are unlikely to have a confirmed case of Coronavirus.
If you discover the close contact occurred with an individual who was subsequently confirmed as having Coronavirus please refer to question 2 above.
You should discuss this with your leader. Some employees may be able to work from home but if this is not possible up to 20 days paid special leave will be provided. If the period of care exceeds 20 days you should apply for leave using your existing leave entitlements. We are also working on some tools to support employees who are now working from home, especially if they are also now home schooling children.
You are not entitled to special leave if your child’s school is open and you choose not to send your child to school. Under these circumstance, you are able to utilise other accrued leave entitlement at the discretion of your manager.
You should discuss this with your manager. Some employees may be able to work from home where you can balance caring responsibilities with your ability to undertake productive work. If this is not possible, 20 days paid special leave will be provided, as per the Department of Premier and Cabinet Circular. If the period of care exceeds 20 days you should apply for leave using your existing leave entitlements.
We understand these are very uncertain times that can cause fear and anxiety. Employees who feel like this are able to utilise accrued leave entitlements to enable them to stay at home.
During this time it’s important you look after yourselves and check in on your colleagues. There is a range of support and tools available – see what options are available to you.
We’re working closely with NSW Health and other government agencies, as well as external operators state-wide to ensure the safety of our customers and help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
We have set up a dedicated Coronavirus Taskforce working across the Transport cluster to respond to the situation.
Some of the action we've taken to date includes: