Ombudsman: Provisions for working during the pandemic

In March 2020, the PSA helped negotiate special provisions for all NSW Public Servants during the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in the Premier’s Circular, titled C2020-01 Employment Arrangements during COVID-19.

The PSA reminds members of their entitlements during the pandemic:

  • The general hierarchy is that staff should be able to work flexibly, which includes working from home or an alternate location where available.
  • When an employee is not sick, but is directed not to attend due to isolation requirements, agencies should identify options for employees to work from home during the quarantine period. Where work is unable to be provided, you are entitled to up to 20 days paid special leave.
  • You are entitled to up to 20 days’ special leave, before other leave entitlements need to be accessed, if you are:
    • Caring for sick family members;
    • Caring for members due to closure of schools and caring facilities; or
    • Unable to attend work due to transport disruptions
  • If the workplace is closed, working from home or another location should be considered. If that is unable to be provided, you are to be paid as normal and placed on special leave.
  • If you are sick – stay at home and apply for sick leave as usual. If you exhaust sick leave, Agency heads may grant special sick leave on a case by case basis.

If there is no work available, at the office or at home, Ombudsman members who are not provided work should not be compelled to take personal leave. As per the Premier’s Circular, Ombudsman members who are not provided work should be placed on paid special leave indefinitely.

The PSA would prefer for work to be available, and encourages members and management to work constructively to ensure they can work remotely. However, Ombudsman employees should not be disadvantaged if there is no work provided.

If you have any concerns, please contact your Delegates Matthew Bright, Mary Gallagher, Andrew Harding or Chris Rodd. Alternatively, please email PSA Organiser



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