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

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

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.

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

Last updated 09/08/20

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 Guiding Principles for Residential Aged Care guidelines (date 7 August2020) here.

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.