The ‘Guiding Principles for residential aged care – keeping Victorian residents and workers safe’ (the Principles) have been in place since 27 July 2020 to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading among aged care residents and workers. Based on current case numbers in the community and within aged care residents and staff in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, the risk of infection is now considered low. The Australian Government would like to thank the residential aged care sector for its hard work to achieve this.

Click here to read the full message on the Transition of Guiding Principles for Residential Aged Care in Victoria

In response to the COVID-19 situation in Victoria, a range of measures have been put in place to limit the risk of outbreaks in residential aged care facilities. This includes arrangements to limit workers of residential aged care facilities from working across multiple sites. There are different arrangements for private and public service residential aged care facilities.

Click here to read the full message

In July 2020, the Guiding Principles of Residential Aged Care – Keeping Victorian Residents and Workers Safe, was developed through a sector led process. They acknowledge that safety of workers and residents in residential aged care during the Covid-19 pandemic are of the highest priority. These principles have sought to mitigate risks related to the working of staff across multiple sites. The adoption of the principles has been voluntary, however, most providers have implemented the recommended changes.

Click here to read the full message

A new set of Frequently Asked Questions have been developed to support workers and providers prepare for the Cessation of the Guiding Principles.

Click here to download the latest FAQs – Preparing for the Cessation of the Guiding Principles

TEMPLATE – Guiding Principles for Residential Aged Care – [For employees who chose to remain at facility – for use by a primary employer]

Click here to download the latest Template

TEMPLATE – Guiding Principles for Residential Aged Care – [For employees who chose to remain at facility – for use by a secondary employer]

Click here to download the latest Template

Employers and Unions are reaching out to aged care workers who have questions or concerns surrounding the recently extended SACWIC support grant. The funding opportunity was scheduled to expire on 25 September 2020, however, it has been extended to 26 October 2020. It may be extended further if required and the Support Hub will be regularly updated to advise of any changes to this

Click here to download the poster

Read the latest  ANMF article Single site employment update – extended to 26 October 2020 here

  • The Business Advisory Service (BAS) program was launched on 15 October 2019 with funding of $7.411 million until 30 June 2021.
  • BAS is provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers, and offers free independent business review and advice to providers on ways to improve their business management and financial strategies.
  • Providers can seek support across the following areas (but not limited to):
    • Human resources and workforce planning
    • Budgeting and forecasting
    • Costing and pricing of services
    • Cash flow management
    • Governance
    • Risk Management
    • Sales and marketing
    • Investment management
    • Property and asset management
  • Support is provided across two Tiers of service:
    • Tier 1 – up to 5 business days; desktop review
    • Tier 2 – up to 9 business days; more in-depth support including a site visit; however due to COVID-19, this is currently done by video or teleconference
  • BAS is available to residential care and home care service providers, including local government providers.
  • BAS prioritises providers at risk from financial stress such as providers operating in rural and remote locations and smaller providers.
  • Further information about the program including how to apply and frequently asked questions can be found at: https://www.pwc.com.au/health/aged-care-advisory.html
  • In January 2020, the Australian Government made available up to $42.93 million in grant funding over two financial years in 2019-20 and 2020-21 to assist residential aged care providers in financial difficulty and with limited access to financial support.
  • The fund provides financial assistance to eligible residential aged care providers with limited access to other financial support.
  • There are three streams of grant funding:
  • Business Improvement – supporting a provider to go through a process of business improvement
  • Sale of a Facility – supporting the sale of the residential aged care facility to another provider
  • Closure of a Facility – where no other options exist, supporting the orderly and safe close down of a residential aged care facility.
  • The fund prioritises small to medium sized providers (generally less than seven facilities) in regional, rural and remote areas.
  • For more information, and to submit your application form, refer to Grant Opportunity GO3410 on the GrantConnect website.
  • Applications close at 2:00pm AEST on 30 April 2021.
  • Any questions about the program can be sent to: bif@health.gov.au

To find the latest responses to frequently asked questions download the full document here

current as of  14 October 2020

Last updated 14/10/20

The safety of residents and workers in residential aged care is the highest priority. These principles are designed to minimise the potential risk of workers unintentionally transmitting
COVID-19 by working across multiple sites and, by extension, reducing the overall risk of outbreak at any given site and also reducing the health risk for individual residents and workers in Victorian aged care homes, located in hotspots..

You can find the latest Guiding Principles for Residential Aged Care guidelines (date 14 October 2020) here.

Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Cost Calculator:

current as of 9 September 2020

This document is required to be submitted with the on-line application form under the GO03844 COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program for approved Residential Aged Care, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP) and Home Care providers. Please refer to the GO03844 COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program Grant Opportunity Guidelines for eligibility and supporting documentation requirements.

To download the Cost Calculator click here

Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Application Spreadsheet: The information provided in this document will inform the amount of funding requested for the grant opportunity.        This document is for both Residential and Home Care providers. There are three sections to the spreadsheet:

  • Funding requested to support employees with additional hours, and ensure access to sufficient number of workers
  • Funding requested to support aged care workers who need to take leave for testing, quarantine, self-isolation, experiencing symptoms or being diagnosed as COVID-19 positive and who don’t have access to or adequate personal leave provisions
  • Funding request to engage and train additional staff where existing employees are unable to work due to self-isolation requirements

To download the latest Application Spreadsheet click here

updated 15 October 2020

Link to online application form: This is the link to the Australian Government Dept. of Health COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program – Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID019 Application form along with other relevant grant submission information.

Date Issued: 4 September 2020

This addendum is issued as an amendment to grant opportunity GO4215.  The amendment covers changes to:

  • GrantConnect GO4215 advertisement
  • The closing date of the grant opportunity in the Grant Opportunity Guidelines
  • The Date guidelines released in the Grant Opportunity Guidelines
  • Examples of eligible workforce costs under SACWIC in the Grant Opportunity Guidelines
  • Funding calculations under funding stream 2 in the Grant Opportunity Guidelines
  • Dates for the Guiding Principles in the Grant Opportunity Guidelines
  • The dates of the designated hotspots in Appendix 1 in the Grant Opportunity Guidelines
  • The funding calculations in Appendix 2 in the Grant Opportunity Guidelines

Download the full Addendum Number 4 here 

To download the Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 Grant Opportunity Guidelines GO4215  click here

Date Issued: 18 August 2020

This addendum is issued as an amendment to grant opportunity GO4215.

Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Application Spreadsheet: The information provided in this document will inform the amount of funding requested for the grant opportunity.               This document is for both Residential and Home Care providers. There are three sections to the spreadsheet:

  • Funding requested to support employees with additional hours, and ensure access to sufficient number of workers
  • Funding requested to support aged care workers who need to take leave for testing, quarantine, self-isolation, experiencing symptoms or being diagnosed as COVID-19 positive and who don’t have access to or adequate personal leave provisions
  • Funding request to engage and train additional staff where existing employees are unable to work due to self-isolation requirements

Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Grant Opportunity Guidelines

updated October 2020

These guidelines contain information relating to the Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Grant Opportunity. It is important that providers carefully review the guidelines  document before applying for a grant.

This grant opportunity is designed to minimise the risk of an infection occurring in the aged care sector. The purpose of the SACWIC grant opportunity is to minimise the risk of infection to aged care workers, residents and other consumers of aged care services.

This grant program will also enable providers located in the hotspots identified in Appendix 1 to implement the decision by the Fair Work Commission in relation to Paid Pandemic Leave3 for the Aged Care Award 2010, the Nurses Award 2010 and Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2020 (Health Professionals Award).  The SACWIC grant opportunity will be available for eligible activities from 15 July 2020 through to 31 May 2021

It is important that you read the Guidelines document before applying for a grant.

Date Issued: 9 September 2020

This Addenda is issued as an addenda to grant opportunity for the COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program.

Download the new GO3844 – Addenda Number 4  here 

To download the Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 Grant Opportunity Guidelines GO4215  click here

Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Letter of Agreement 

Date Issued: 9 September 2020

The Australian Government recognises Australia’s aged care workers are an important part of our aged care system and supporting them during the COVID-19 pandemic is critical. This fact sheet provides information on paid pandemic leave for aged care workers and guidance for providers to implement these changes to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Download the full document here

To find out more on how the Australian Government COVID-19 response will provide travel and accommodation support for aged care workers from interstate or regional areas to work in designated COVID‑19 areas in Victoria (currently metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire) or for local workers in these areas to minimise their exposure to the community or on public transport click here

FAQ

To find out further information regarding eligibility criteria for the Victorian and Commonwealth Government payments for workers should they require isolation due to exposure to COVID-19 or contract COVID-19 click here

COUNSELLING FOR VICTORIAN AGED CARE WORKERS

The Federal Government, industry, peak bodies and unions are working together to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 infections in residential aged care facilities.

On Monday 27 July 2020, industry released The Guiding Principles for residential aged care – keeping Victorian residents and workers safe (the Principles) with the support of Government, peak bodies and unions.

Support is available to aged care workers whose regular working arrangements have changed as a result of the Principles. These workers can get free counselling services from Converge International.

Converge International will deliver up to five free counselling sessions per person. Services include employee and manager support, career guidance, financial counselling and family support. These services are available for a three month period to 10 November 2020.

Phone 1800 697 327 (free call) or visit www.convergeinternational.com.au to book an appointment. Make sure you state that you are from the “VIC Residential Aged Care Workforce” when booking.

In addition, a Support Hub is available for Victorian aged care providers using the Principles. The Guiding Principles Support Hub by ACSA and LASA is available by phoning 1800 491 793 (free call).

Leading Age Services Australia Ltd (LASA) has established an online PPE portal with available PPE from third party suppliers for purchase.

Please note that while LASA will undertake some basic screening of the suppliers that they list, you are responsible for undertaking your own due diligence regarding the products you purchase.

Currently for sale:

  • Gloves
  • Antibacterial Wipes
  • Labcoats
  • Aprons
  • Bouffant Caps
  • PPE Organisers
  • Boot Covers
  • Single use Gowns
  • Single use surgical masks
  • Face Shields
  • Hand Sanitiser (variety of sizes) including wall mounted and automated dispensers

Information and the order form can be found at PPE Order Portal

From 11.59pm Wednesday 5 August 2020, workplaces in Melbourne must be closed unless the workplace is part of a permitted/essential service.

This means employers that require their staff to attend a work site must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility. Information and the form can be found at https://www.vic.gov.au/worker-permit-scheme

Single Site Grant Funds Webinar Presentation

To access the Guiding Principles presentation click the link below

Single Site Grant Funds Webinar

Single Site Grant Funds Webinar

Guiding Principles Support Webinar Presentation

Guiding Principles Support Webinar first page

To access the Guiding Principles presentation click the link below

Guiding Principles Support Hub webinar

Guiding Principles Support Webinar Video

Residential aged care facilities should follow these steps in order, following the identification of a COVID-19 positive case. The Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) has developed national guidelines for the prevention, control and public health management of COVID-19 outbreaks in residential care facilities. You can find the CDNA guidelines here.

This letter explains the Guiding Principles for Residential Aged Care and can be used to assist communication with your staff.

This is a template letter the primary employer can utilise to confirm the temporary employment arrangement with employees who have elected them as their only employer for the designated period.

This is a template letter the secondary employer/s can utilise to describe the temporary arrangement with employees who have elected to work for another employer as their primary employer for the designated period.