Single site workforce arrangements and funding support has been activated for the following areas Local Government Areas in NSW:
- City of Cessnock
- City of Lake Macquarie
- Dungog Shire
- Muswellbrook Shire
- Port Stephens Council
- Singleton Council.
Given the current number of COVID-19 cases in NSW and following the widened COVID-19 NSW hotspot declaration by the Australian Government Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, workers at residential aged care facilities in impacted areas are asked to limit their work to a single facility to reduce the risk of transmission and protect workers and residents.
Australian Government grant funding is now available to support implementation of these arrangements in the above areas from 5 August to 11 September 2021.
Based on advice from the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, and in line with advice from the NSW Government, these arrangements are limited to residential aged care providers in the specified areas in NSW (as defined on the Department’s website). This may be expanded if required.
Providers in these areas are asked to adjust their rosters and ensure staff are only working at one residential aged care facility within this region during this time. Workers are encouraged to speak with their primary employer and look to work all shifts during this period with the residential aged care provider where they were working the most hours prior to the outbreak. To the greatest extent possible, the employer should seek to match any hours no longer being worked with a secondary employer to ensure the worker is not financially disadvantaged. It is important workers also retain the security of any secondary employment.
Facilities should also have prepared a listing of all staff and residents, including date of birth and vaccination status in the event this is required in an outbreak scenario. Ensuring adequate staff members are suitably trained in administrative processes, including rostering and cohorting staff, is also essential.
Single site workforce arrangements and funding support extensions for Victoria
Given the ongoing risk, including cases of community transmission, single site workforce arrangements and support funding have also been extended to 27 August 2021 for Greater Melbourne, Moorabool Shire, City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliff and Surf Coast Shire. The Golden Plains Shire has been added.
While this has been extended, providers in these areas should consider arrangements to transition from single site working as appropriate for your workplace. Funding remains available to support residential aged care providers with any out of pocket costs they may be incurring up to 27 August 2021.
During the extended period, providers are reminded to ensure staff are only working at one residential aged care facility within this region. Workers should not be financially disadvantaged and should retain the security of any secondary employment. Where this results in additional workforce expenses, providers are able to seek reimbursement from the Australian Government through the Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Grant. The SACWIC grant opportunity remains open until 31 December 2021.
In addition to funding support, a reminder that providers can also access guidance on practical implementation of single site arrangements, including employee relations expertise, through the Guiding Principles Support Hub website or hotline on 1800 491 793.
Where these arrangements result in additional workforce expenses, providers are able to seek reimbursement from the Australian Government through the Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Grant. The SACWIC grant opportunity remains open until 31 December 2021.