Victoria’s COVID-19 outbreak and current health orders

Working from Home

The current general health order repeats the ability to work from home if reasonably practicable. It states:

Direction of Minister about place of work

The Minister directs that an employer must allow an employee to work at the employee’s place of residence if it is reasonably practicable to do so.

The understanding of what is reasonably practicable has not changed, so if you were able to work from home previously, this is likely to still be available.

Border Closure

The NSW Government has announced the border with Victoria will be closed from mid-night tonight (i.e. Wednesday 8 July 2020 at 12.01am). Despite the inconvenience, this is likely to be the best way to ensure the spike in COVID-19 cases in Victoria does not spread to NSW.

For workers who travel cross these borders for work, we expect arrangements to be similar to those stablished with the closure of the Queensland border. In Queensland, workers make an application online stating the purpose for visiting/retuning to NSW is to undertake work. This should be a rolling authority for a defined period preventing the need to reapply on a daily basis. This form is shown at the checkpoints in order to be allowed to cross the border.

In Queensland exemptions were also made for people with caring responsibilities such those with elderly parents on the other side of the border. We have been informed by the Public Sector Industrial Relations this form will be made available on the Service NSW website. If the Service NSW website does not establish the application process in time for midnight tonight, we encourage workers to carry work identification and seek a letter from their employer stating they work in NSW and that it is essential that they be present at work. You should also print a payslip with your name and employer on it. We were advised by the media this morning that there will be exemptions for most of the workers the PSA/CPSU covers.

There are no forms available online at the time of this bulletin so we encourage members to check the Service NSW website regularly throughout the day.

Public Health (COVID-19 Interstate Hotspots) Order 2020

The NSW Government has issued a current public health order for people who have visited various COVID-19 hotspots in Victoria. The public health order requires all persons who have travelled to Melbourne postcodes to quarantine for two weeks.

Some employers have decided this also applies to the partners of people who have travelled to Melbourne, including for work. In this scenario we ask members to contact the PSA/CPSU if special arrangements or COVID special leave are not being made available.

Members who have difficulties in accessing working from home, accessing interstate work, or COVID-19 leave should contact their delegate, or ring the PSA Member Support Centre on
1300 772 679.

 

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