Stay informed – the dedicated site for people in the Transport cluster

With an increasing number of Coronavirus cases emerging in countries around the world, it’s a worrying time for everyone in Transport and our community.

This site is for our people across the Transport cluster to get information and support as the Coronavirus situation develops.

This includes:

With an increasing number of Coronavirus cases emerging in countries around the world, it’s a worrying time for everyone in Transport and our community.

This site is for our people across the Transport cluster to get information and support as the Coronavirus situation develops.

This includes:

  • Coronavirus livestream for frontline leaders - 22 May

    4 days ago


    Frontline leaders across the Transport cluster joined the weekly livestream on Friday 22 May to get the latest on our response to Coronavirus with the Secretary of Transport Rodd Staples, Tracey Taylor, Executive Director for People and Culture, and Chief Health Officer Dr Armand Casolin.

    Also joining them this week was:

    • Howard Collins, Chief Operations Officer from Greater Sydney, who spoke about our COVIDSafe transport plan and what it means for our frontline people, including the green dots which tells our customers the safest places to sit and stand.
    • Shift Manager Suzanne Edwards from NSW TrainLink shared how we’re maintaining physical distancing in our regional services.

    As usual, leaders from all agencies had the opportunity to ask questions. Watch a recording of the livestream below.





    Frontline leaders across the Transport cluster joined the weekly livestream on Friday 22 May to get the latest on our response to Coronavirus with the Secretary of Transport Rodd Staples, Tracey Taylor, Executive Director for People and Culture, and Chief Health Officer Dr Armand Casolin.

    Also joining them this week was:

    • Howard Collins, Chief Operations Officer from Greater Sydney, who spoke about our COVIDSafe transport plan and what it means for our frontline people, including the green dots which tells our customers the safest places to sit and stand.
    • Shift Manager Suzanne Edwards from NSW TrainLink shared how we’re maintaining physical distancing in our regional services.

    As usual, leaders from all agencies had the opportunity to ask questions. Watch a recording of the livestream below.




  • Coronavirus livestream for people leaders - 20 May

    6 days ago

    Leaders across the Transport cluster joined the weekly Coronavirus livestream on Wednesday 20 May to get the latest on our response to Coronavirus with the Secretary of Transport Rodd Staples, Chief People Officer Kirsten Watson and Chief Health Officer Dr Armand Casolin.

    Also joining them this week was Joost de Kock, our Deputy Secretary for Customer Strategy & Technology. Joost shared some of the latest customer data and insights, and how we’re using it to respond to the Coronavirus situation.

    As usual, leaders from all agencies had the opportunity to ask questions. Watch a recording of the livestream below.



    Leaders across the Transport cluster joined the weekly Coronavirus livestream on Wednesday 20 May to get the latest on our response to Coronavirus with the Secretary of Transport Rodd Staples, Chief People Officer Kirsten Watson and Chief Health Officer Dr Armand Casolin.

    Also joining them this week was Joost de Kock, our Deputy Secretary for Customer Strategy & Technology. Joost shared some of the latest customer data and insights, and how we’re using it to respond to the Coronavirus situation.

    As usual, leaders from all agencies had the opportunity to ask questions. Watch a recording of the livestream below.



  • 15 May - frontline leaders livestream

    11 days ago

    Frontline leaders across the Transport cluster joined the weekly livestream on Friday 15 May to get the latest on our response to Coronavirus with the Secretary of Transport Rodd Staples, Chief People Officer Kirsten Watson and Chief Health Officer Dr Armand Casolin.

    Also joining them this week was:

    • Karen McCarthy, Lead for the COVID-19 Incident Management Team who gave an update on on how our services have supported the return of school this week
    • Steve Bakous from State Transit’s largest depot, Ryde, who gave us his perspective on how school bus services have gone this week and let us know what we’re doing differently on our buses to help keep our people and kids safe.

    As usual, leaders from all agencies had the opportunity to ask questions. Watch a recording of the livestream below.


    Frontline leaders across the Transport cluster joined the weekly livestream on Friday 15 May to get the latest on our response to Coronavirus with the Secretary of Transport Rodd Staples, Chief People Officer Kirsten Watson and Chief Health Officer Dr Armand Casolin.

    Also joining them this week was:

    • Karen McCarthy, Lead for the COVID-19 Incident Management Team who gave an update on on how our services have supported the return of school this week
    • Steve Bakous from State Transit’s largest depot, Ryde, who gave us his perspective on how school bus services have gone this week and let us know what we’re doing differently on our buses to help keep our people and kids safe.

    As usual, leaders from all agencies had the opportunity to ask questions. Watch a recording of the livestream below.


  • 12 May - Coronavirus Q&A

    15 days ago

    The below Transport Q&As have been prepared in line with advice that has been released by the Australian Government Chief Medical Officer.


    PREVENTION


    1. What can I do to protect myself and others?

    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:

    The below Transport Q&As have been prepared in line with advice that has been released by the Australian Government Chief Medical Officer.


    PREVENTION


    1. What can I do to protect myself and others?

    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:

    • washing hands thoroughly with soap and water – for at least 20 seconds,
    • using alcohol based hand sanitiser if hand washing facilities are not available
    • cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow
    • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth


    2. I have been in close contact with a confirmed case of Coronavirus but am not showing symptoms. Can I attend for work?

    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.

    People who have been in close contact with any confirmed Coronavirus case must remain isolated at home for 14 days following exposure, unless advised otherwise by NSW Health. 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. NSW Health will provide advice in writing of your requirement to isolate and this will provide the evdience you need to access special leave.


    3. I am aware that my team member has not complied with requirements to be absent from the workplace due to illness or for the purposes of self-isolation and attends work.

    Leaders must direct employees who are obviously unwell or those required to self-isolate to go home and seek appropriate medical advice.


    4. What is social distancing and when do I need to practice social distancing?

    Social distancing means reducing the number of close physical and social contacts we have with one another.

    Combining social distancing with good personal hygiene slows the spread of a pandemic. This helps protect the most vulnerable members of the community and reduces the impact of the pandemic on essential, life-saving health services.

    While practising social distancing, people can leave to seek medical care, buy food and supplies, exercise or go to work or education (if you can’t do so from home).

    For those activities outside the workplace or attendance at schools, universities and childcare - social distancing includes:

    • only being in public spaces with members of your household or one other person (two-person rule);
    • not shaking hands, hugging or kissing as a greeting;
    • keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and other people, where possible;
    • avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with mpromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment;
    • using debit and credit cards instead of cash and make use of online and self-serve transactions (for example Opal cards on public transport); and
    • taking public transport in off-peak periods if you can.

    For more information about social distancing, see the advice from the NSW Government here.


    5. Do I need to wear a face mask?

    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.


    6. Where can I order hygiene supplies like sanitiser and wipes for my team?

    You can use the Critical Supplies request form through MyTransport to request hygiene supplies, including sanitiser, wipes and gloves. Each request will require approval from the employee’s two-up manager and will be assessed by Transport Shared Services to prioritise orders. You should check with your team before ordering to avoid duplicate orders.



    WORKING FROM HOME IF YOU CAN


    7. Can I work from home?

    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.


    PEOPLE AT GREATEST RISK


    8. What is the definition of 'at risk' people?

    During this uncertain time it is our priority to support our people. We know that this situation has the potential to create anxiety for employees with existing health conditions and concerns about their level of risk. Having discussions with your manager about your individual situation will enable us to support you in the best way possible.

    A sensitive common sense approach should be adopted, including assessing the risk for employees with pre-existing severe medical conditions, who have significant concerns for their wellbeing. Irrespective of age, employees with an impaired immune system (such as people who have cancer or HIV, or who take high dose corticosteroids) should be considered at risk, and work from home, alternate duties or leave arrangements should be explored.

    Additionally, the government definitions of those considered ‘at risk’ includes:

    • people aged 70 years and over
    • people aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions
    • people with a compromised immune system
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions

    You can find more information on medical conditions here, which is in line with the Australian Government advice.

    9. What are the working arrangements to protect ‘at risk’ people?

    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:

    • Medical certificate (either hard copy or emailed from the doctor)
    • Evidence of a phone consultation with your doctor
    • Note and/or certificate from a pharmacist
    • Other medical record or report that details the condition

    We remain fully supportive of all employees at this time and while the above advice is recommendent, affected staff can choose to remain in the workplace if they wish. If you choose this option, no evidentiary documentation is needed.


    10. What are the arrangements for employees who care for vulnerable people?

    Employees can access Special Leave if they are unable to work from home and are required to care for a member of their family who is at risk and cannot attend their usual caring or educational facility.


    Employees should discuss their particular circumstances with their leader. Employees should provide evidence of the family members at risk status. This does not apply where an employee is providing support to at risk people, such as shopping for elderly parents.


    11. What precautions should I take if I am living with a vulnerable person?

    There are some sensible tips from NSW Health in their Home Isolation guidance that can also be applied when living with someone ‘at risk’ to help prevent the spread of the virus.


    This includes practical advice on separating yourself from others in the house and practicing good hand hygiene, such as:

    • not sharing a room with people who are at risk of severe disease;
    • using a separate bathroom, if available;
    • avoiding shared or communal areas; and
    • washing hands before entering an area used by other people, after using the bathroom and after coughing or sneezing.


    12. I cannot go to work because I am caring for a sick family member, what should I do?


    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.


    TRAVEL


    13. I have returned from overseas travel and am not showing symptoms, what should I do?

    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 with travel documents accepted as evidence. Further details can be found on NSW Health website.


    14. What arrangements apply for international and domestic travel required for my role?

    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.


    CONCERNED OR FEELING UNWELL


    15. I have returned from overseas travel and I am now showing symptoms, what should I do?

    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.


    16. I came into contact with an individual who was ill and I am concerned they may have had Coronavirus, what should I do?

    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.

    17. What should I do if I feel unwell and live in one of the areas considered to be a hotspot for Coronavirus?

    The NSW Government is increasing testing in areas where there is a small number of community transmission cases but the source hasn’t been identified. The advice is to get tested if you live, work or have been active in any of the areas considered a hotspot, and you are experiencing symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath. You can view the list of hotspots on the NSW Health website along with information on what to do if you are feeling unwell.


    18. What’s the latest advice for pregnant women?

    It is understandable that pregnant women may be feeling anxious or worried about their health and the health of their unborn baby during this time.

    The Australian Government does not list pregnant women as an ‘at risk’ group for Coronavirus. The current medical advice is that there is no suggestion that pregnant women are more susceptible to Coronavirus, become more severely unwell or that it harms the foetus. If contracted, it is expected that most pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms. However, pregnant women are potentially at increased risk of complications from any respiratory disease due to the physiological changes that occur in pregnancy.

    We need to be sensitive to their situation and the fact that they may be understandably anxious and support working from home options or reallocation to lower risk duties wherever possible.

    19. With the return to school for face to face learning, what is the rate of testing for the virus in children?

    The rate of testing in children is less than in adults but, nevertheless, still high with over 10,000 children tested in April, prior to the relaxation of testing criteria. Children are testing positive much less compared to adults.


    SCHOOLS AND LEAVE ARRANGEMENTS


    20. What are the arrangements for children attending school in Term 2?

    Detailed information about the phased return to school can be found on the Department of Education’s website.


    Based on this advice, special leave will only be applicable if your child’s school has officially closed and evidence can be provided to support the leave application.


    21. I cannot go to work because I am caring for a child who is unable to attend school because of school closures, what should I do?

    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.



    22. What if I can’t work from home, my child’s school is open but I don’t want to send them to school?

    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.


    WELLBEING


    23. What if I feel unsafe and don’t want to come back to work, but cannot work from home?


    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.

    24. What support is available to aid wellbeing at this challenging time?

    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.


    TRANSPORT ACTION TO DATE


    25. What more is Transport doing?

    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:

    • We've increased cleaning across trains, buses, ferries, light rail and the metro, particularly in high-traffic areas including Central, Town Hall and Wynyard.
    • Public health messaging is now live at stations and across our network to continue to encourage people to wash their hands, cover their nose when sneezing and avoid touching their face. And as usual, we are encouraging customers not to travel if they feel ill.
    • We’re also asking our customers to plan ahead and travel outside peak hour where possible to reduce the possibility of person-to-person virus transmission.
    • We’ve introduced social distancing measures where possible – for example on buses, a clear 1.5m clear area to protect bus drivers, and on trains limiting the number of crew members in the cab to 1+1.
    • To help protect the health of drivers, tickets are no longer sold on board buses across the Opal network. For services that don’t offer contactless payment, we are advising all frontline staff to wash their hands with soap and water and use hand sanitiser to limit the spread of viruses.
    • Our staff are now checking Opal card payments without handling cards.
    • We’ve activated automated pedestrian crossings at traffic signals within the Sydney CBD 24 hours a day to help limit the spread of coronavirus. It means you do not have to push the button at signalised crossings to safely cross the road in this area.
    • To ensure the safety of our customers and staff travelling on our network across long distances, NSW TrainLink regional rail and coach customers are now booked in a way to maximise social-distancing where possible.
    • We are continuing to work with the freight industry to ensure movement of essential goods across roads, ports and rail.
  • 6 May - Frontline people live update

    20 days ago

    Secretary Rodd Staples addressed frontline people in a live update on Wednesday 6 May, ahead of children returning to school.

    Watch the playbacks if you missed the updates to hear direct from Rodd about what we’re doing across Transport to ensure our frontline people remain safe as patronage and traffic starts to increase on the network. Frontline people also had an opportunity to ask him questions during both events – topics included maintaining physical distancing on buses and trains, impact of easing restriction on our transport network and how we are working with Education to communicate to schools.

    Morning session - 10am


    Afternoon session - 2.15pm


    If you work in a frontline role, we are keen to get your feedback on this new format we are trying out - share your views in this short two-minute survey.

    Secretary Rodd Staples addressed frontline people in a live update on Wednesday 6 May, ahead of children returning to school.

    Watch the playbacks if you missed the updates to hear direct from Rodd about what we’re doing across Transport to ensure our frontline people remain safe as patronage and traffic starts to increase on the network. Frontline people also had an opportunity to ask him questions during both events – topics included maintaining physical distancing on buses and trains, impact of easing restriction on our transport network and how we are working with Education to communicate to schools.

    Morning session - 10am


    Afternoon session - 2.15pm


    If you work in a frontline role, we are keen to get your feedback on this new format we are trying out - share your views in this short two-minute survey.

  • Play your part to help slow the spread

    26 days ago

    You’ve probably heard or seen the news of the Australian Government’s new COVIDSafe app - the latest in a range of initiatives designed to help slow the spread of Coronavirus.

    All of us across Transport are encouraged to download the app to your work or personal mobile phone. The app is completely voluntary and another way for each of us to protect ourselves and each other.

    What is it for?

    The app helps keep us safe by speeding up the current manual process of finding and notifying people who have been in contact with someone with the virus. This helps to reduce the chance of the virus being passed on in the community.The more of us who use the app, the more effective it will be.

    How does it work?

    Download the COVIDSafe app from one of the app stores, and enter your name, phone number, postcode, and age range. This information is uploaded to a highly secure data storage system and is used to generate an encrypted reference code.

    The app operates on your phone as you go about your day-to-day activities. Other apps can be used at the same time.

    It securely logs the encrypted reference codes of other app users, along with the date, time, distance and duration of the contact.

    It only notes the people you come into contact with. It does not record location or movements.

    Your privacy protected

    COVIDSafe has been developed to ensure your information and privacy is strictly protected. Any information provided voluntarily through the app is only accessible by authorised state and territory health officials – any other access or use is a criminal offence.

    The contact information is only stored in the app for 21 days. This allows for the maximum 14-day incubation period plus the time it takes to confirm a positive test result. Information older than 21 days in the app is automatically deleted.

    You can find out more about the app, including FAQs on the Commonwealth Department of Health website.

    The sooner we can reduce the spread, the sooner we can all get back to doing the things we love.

    You’ve probably heard or seen the news of the Australian Government’s new COVIDSafe app - the latest in a range of initiatives designed to help slow the spread of Coronavirus.

    All of us across Transport are encouraged to download the app to your work or personal mobile phone. The app is completely voluntary and another way for each of us to protect ourselves and each other.

    What is it for?

    The app helps keep us safe by speeding up the current manual process of finding and notifying people who have been in contact with someone with the virus. This helps to reduce the chance of the virus being passed on in the community.The more of us who use the app, the more effective it will be.

    How does it work?

    Download the COVIDSafe app from one of the app stores, and enter your name, phone number, postcode, and age range. This information is uploaded to a highly secure data storage system and is used to generate an encrypted reference code.

    The app operates on your phone as you go about your day-to-day activities. Other apps can be used at the same time.

    It securely logs the encrypted reference codes of other app users, along with the date, time, distance and duration of the contact.

    It only notes the people you come into contact with. It does not record location or movements.

    Your privacy protected

    COVIDSafe has been developed to ensure your information and privacy is strictly protected. Any information provided voluntarily through the app is only accessible by authorised state and territory health officials – any other access or use is a criminal offence.

    The contact information is only stored in the app for 21 days. This allows for the maximum 14-day incubation period plus the time it takes to confirm a positive test result. Information older than 21 days in the app is automatically deleted.

    You can find out more about the app, including FAQs on the Commonwealth Department of Health website.

    The sooner we can reduce the spread, the sooner we can all get back to doing the things we love.

  • 23 April - Sustaining resilience - sudden change and feelings of loss webinar

    about 1 month ago

    We all experience and react to change differently, and the unexpected change caused by Coronavirus could lead to a series of emotions, including loss and grief. Watch this recorded webinar to learn more about sudden change, how that impacts our emotions and techniques you can use to move to a more positive outlook.


    We all experience and react to change differently, and the unexpected change caused by Coronavirus could lead to a series of emotions, including loss and grief. Watch this recorded webinar to learn more about sudden change, how that impacts our emotions and techniques you can use to move to a more positive outlook.


  • 16 April - Roles and responsibilities and self-care in a virtual environment

    about 1 month ago

    Watch the playback of our recent webinar on roles and responsibilities and self-care in a virtual environment. You’ll learn about building resilience through care for self and care for others (including those at home) and identify the barriers of working flexibly and how you can overcome them.



    Watch the playback of our recent webinar on roles and responsibilities and self-care in a virtual environment. You’ll learn about building resilience through care for self and care for others (including those at home) and identify the barriers of working flexibly and how you can overcome them.



  • 7 April - How to manage teams and work in a virtual environment webinar

    about 2 months ago

    Watch the playback of our recent webinar for managing flexible teams and developing protocols for work remotely. You’ll learn how to maintain a focus on inclusion and flexibility for you and your team in a virtual environment.

    Watch the playback of our recent webinar for managing flexible teams and developing protocols for work remotely. You’ll learn how to maintain a focus on inclusion and flexibility for you and your team in a virtual environment.

  • Coronavirus - what should I do?

    2 months ago

    The best thing you can do to help stop the spread of germs is to wash your hands regularly and cover your cough or sneeze.

    Below is a short guide we’ve put together on what you should do with regards to coronavirus. You can also explore a more detailed guide on managing and reporting cases of Coronavirus.

    Download a copy of the "Coronavirus - what should I do?" flowchart.


    The best thing you can do to help stop the spread of germs is to wash your hands regularly and cover your cough or sneeze.

    Below is a short guide we’ve put together on what you should do with regards to coronavirus. You can also explore a more detailed guide on managing and reporting cases of Coronavirus.

    Download a copy of the "Coronavirus - what should I do?" flowchart.