Quick Steps to manage your workforce for outbreak preparedness
In light of the recent localised COVID-19 clusters, Providers in affected areas should consider what action they can take to reduce the risk of an outbreak at their facility.
It is not uncommon for residential aged care workers to work across multiple sites and in different roles. The Australian Government does not require workers to work at only one site but is continuing to monitor the situation in aged care. It is important for Providers to be aware of staff mobility and workforce needs in each of their facilities and take action to reduce the risk of unintentionally spreading COVID-19.
To minimise risk and prepare for a single site workforce model (in the event this is required), Providers may wish to create an employee register that records which employees work across multiple sites/settings, or live with someone who does, what role they perform, how many hours and what shifts they perform with each employer and which employer provides the most hours on a weekly or fortnightly basis. This will ensure Providers are well-placed to identify which parts of a facility and which roles staff can work across as well as surge workforce needs in the event of an outbreak.
While these arrangements are not mandated at this time, in the event the situation changes, workers and providers can access additional resources through the Support Hub website.
Single Site Grant (SACWIC) Extended to 30 November 2020
We have just received formal confirmation that the relevant activity period for single site arrangements under the Commonwealth Government grant will be extended to 30 November 2020 for Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. This is a change to the end date which was previously 26 October 2020.
The Guiding Principles are also be updated to align with this November 30 date.
The Guiding Principles Support Hub contains further resources to support you through the process of extending your funding, including draft letter templates. Staff who have moved to a primary site can be extended at that primary site through negotiation with the relevant employer(s) with the conditions of engagement continuing until November 30. Transition out resources are also available on the website.
Approved providers can apply for funding up until 30 June 2021 to cover the costs of supporting eligible workers during the period to 30 November 2020:
- who normally work at multiple residential aged care facilities, but will be working solely at the facility being applied for
- who are not to work because they have been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, require testing or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements
- to undertake training in the event a skills gap arises from where existing workers are not to work due to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements.
Grant Opportunity and documentation can be found at Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (GO4215) Program.
Single Site Grant (SACWIC) Extended to October 2020
In July 2020 the Commonwealth Government offered funding to residential aged care providers in metro Melbourne and Mitchell Shire to support employees, who were working at more than one residential aged care site, to limit their employment during COVID-19 to only one residential aged care site.
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.
The Guiding Principles Support Hub contains further resources to support you through the process of extending your funding, including draft letter templates. Staff who have moved to a primary site can be extended at that primary site through negotiation with the relevant employer(s) with the conditions of engagement continuing for the next 4 weeks.
Clinical Support & Guidance Service
ACSA and LASA are pleased to offer Clinical Support & Guidance Services to assist residential aged care providers implement the Guiding Principles for residential aged care – keeping residents and workers safe. This includes phone support to navigate through the changes as they impact on the delivery of clinical services and assistance for providers to build capacity and confidence, ensuring clinical monitoring, oversight and governance is sustained for safe and effective quality care.
Employee & Industrial Relations
The Guiding Principles for Residential Aged Care aim to improve health and safety outcomes of consumers and staff by building a framework which assists in limiting the movement of staff between providers and sites. Managing the relationship with your employees can be challenging at the best of times and the Principles may throw a few more challenges into the mix. The Employee Relations Support Service is in place to assist you in navigating and implementing the Principles and managing any Principles-related employment issues as they arise. ACSA and LASA will support you through our dedicated team of experienced Employee Relations Advisors.
This supplier register is intended to be a handy resource to assist providers access information, products and services that may assist through the implementation of the Guiding Principles. The register will be regularly reviewed and update to ensure it is fit for purpose and contains information, products and services that are relevant in supporting providers implement and operationalise the Guiding Principles
Vist the list of suppliers here.
To assist and act as a conduit to facilitate provider cooperation to respond to workforce shortages. The Support Hub will assist with connections to other providers (members and non-members), labour agencies and other suppliers.