Date published: 
22 November 2021
Type: 
Subscriber announcement
Intended audience: 
Health sector

Single site workforce arrangements are 1 of the many infection control measures which have worked to help limit transmission of COVID-19.

On the advice of the A/g Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sonya Bennett, in consultation with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and the Victorian Chief Health Officer, it is now appropriate for residential aged care providers in Victoria to commence transitioning out of single site arrangements.

This transition should occur over the next two weeks, with the end of single site employment on 3 December 2021, after which time workers can return to usual working arrangements.

Providers are reminder to stay informed with local public health measures, including those set out in the Workplace (Additional Industry Obligations) Directions (No 57) in Victoria.

Support implementing these arrangements

The Australian Government recognises that implementing single site arrangements has been complex and may result in additional out of pocket costs for approved providers. The Support for Aged Care Workers In COVID-19 (SACWIC) grant opportunity remains open to enable approved providers to seek reimbursement for out of pocket expenses associated with implementing these arrangements.

To date, a total of 81 applications have been approved through this grant opportunity, supporting over 270 facilities with over $25 million in reimbursements.

Eligible providers are encouraged to consider the out of pocket costs they have incurred implementing these arrangements and apply for reimbursement where appropriate.

As the activity period for residential aged care facilities in NSW and the ACT has now ended, applications can now be made until 31 December 2021. Providers in Victoria can apply from 3 December 2021 once single site employment arrangements have ended.

Examples of eligible workforce costs under SACWIC are those that will support eligible workers:

  • who normally work at multiple residential aged care facilities, but will be working solely at the facility being applied for;
  • who are not to attend 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; or
  • 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.

The Grant Opportunity Guidelines, online application form and regularly updated responses to frequently asked questions can be accessed on GrantConnect (Grant Opportunity – GO4215).

For those locations where single site arrangements are still active, please continue to monitor this advice and contact the Guiding Principles Support Hub website or hotline on 1800 491 793 for any queries.

Completing your SACWIC grant application

To apply, complete the online grant opportunity application form available on GrantConnect. You will need to address all eligibility criteria and include all necessary attachments.

Applications remain open until 31 December 2021.

The following supporting documentation will be requested:

Funding stream What we are verifying Required documentation

1. Supporting aged care workers to work at a single site

What the normal wage expenses are

Before Activity Period – Payroll summaries for an equal amount of time as the grant activity period, immediately prior to the activity period that itemise ALL staff and includes leave balances.

What the wage costs are for the Activity Period

During the Activity Period - Payroll summaries for the activity period that itemise ALL staff and includes leave balances.

2. Paid Pandemic Leave

Amount spent on eligible leave where there was not any leave available to take
 

A summary of eligible leave paid itemised by staff member.
 

3. Skills-gap training

Type of training and training provider

A statement that includes

  • an overview of the training and summary of learning objectives /  program summary,
  • the name of the training program,
  • the name of the registered training provider or advice that the training was in-house,
  • the duration of the training, and
  • receipt of payment or if the training is in-house, the detail of the out of pocket expenses incurred.