As restrictions begin to ease within each state and territory, it is timely for Parliamentarians and their employees to consider future steps in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Consistent with previous advice, it is a matter for each Parliamentarian to make decisions regarding the running of their respective electorate offices, taking into account the health and safety obligations of staff, volunteers and members of the public.
As previously noted in Circular 2020/06 this includes educating staff on best practice to minimise the spread of infection, self-isolation requirements and following the Department of Health and your state or territory health advice.
COVID-19 Safe Return to the Office Plan
The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) has published an online tool to help you develop a COVIDSafe plan to keep your workplace safe in the weeks and months ahead.
Safe Work Australia and the Department of Health have a range of resources including checklists, factsheets, posters and signage.
- A checklist on Physical distancing (including how to calculate the number of occupants permitted in meeting rooms and other office areas)
- Posters to identify room capacity for offices and workplaces
- A checklist - What can I do to keep my workers safe at the workplace and limit the spread of COVID-19
- Information to support employers
- Health, hygiene & facilities checklist – Additional cleaning in Electorate Offices has been ongoing for the duration of the COVID-19 situation, this additional cleaning has focussed on high touch point areas in additional to regular office cleaning. If you have previously advised you would like office cleaning put on hold due to office closures or other exceptional circumstances, please ensure you advise your State Manager or the JLL Helpdesk ahead of reopening your office or if you would like cleaning to recommence.
- Hand Sanitiser and wipes should be available for order with our contracted supplier COS, however, should you experience any issue with supply and require Hand Sanitiser in your office please contact your State Manager.
- Key considerations for undertaking a risk assessment associated with COVID‑19
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – frequently asked questions
- Other useful Posters and Signage
It’s important to consult and communicate with your employees, ensuring decisions are flexible and consider the needs of vulnerable people. Employees are encouraged to speak with their managers if their circumstances require additional support.
Health and Wellbeing
Supporting and maintaining your mental health continues to be a high priority. In addition to the information already provided on the COVID-19 page on the MaPS website, we have established a page dedicated to your Work Health Safety and Wellbeing during COVID-19 to provide you support during this time.
The page includes information on:
- EAP Services
- Mental Health Resources
- Working from Home (including an updated checklist)
- Ergonomic Workplace Assessments
- Flu Vaccinations
Obligations as a worker during this time
As a worker you have an obligation to take reasonable care for your own health and safety and the health and safety of others. This responsibility includes:
- not attending the workplace if you have any cold or flu like symptoms
- informing your employer and MaPS if you believe you have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19, who is being tested for COVID-19 or if you have been tested for COVID-19 yourself
- informing your employer and MaPS if you have tested positive for COVID-19.
This notification will allow your employer to support you and potentially protect other staff in the workplace if required.
The COVID safe App
The Australian Government has developed a new COVID-19 related App. The COVIDSafe app has been designed to speed up contacting people exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19).
If you have any questions you should call the MaPS help desk. Where possible, enquiries regarding staffing matters or questions about work expenses should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.