COVID-19 update - transitioning back in to the workplace

Date published
08 October 2021
Image of desk with text saying COVID-19 update transitioning back to work

With COVID-19 restrictions likely to change in the near future, we want to ensure you are supported to stay safe and maintain a safe and healthy workplace. This information will assist when you are ready to transition back into the workplace.

As noted in Circular 2020/02, parliamentarians continue to be able to approve working from home and leave arrangements related to COVID-19. The Minister does not need to approve these working from home arrangements.

In line with Circular 2020/06 it remains a matter for each federal parliamentarian to make decisions regarding the running of their respective offices, taking into account health advice issued by the relevant state or territory authority.

Plan ahead – transitioning back to the office

Each jurisdiction is at a different phase in responding to COVID-19 and has determined their own requirements in relation to work and related travel. You can keep up to date on the on the latest response to COVID-19 in your state or territory by visiting the Australian Government website or by using the COVID-19 Restriction Checker.

As you return to your physical offices, ensure everyone in the office is aware of who occupies relevant WHS roles and they are familiar with the emergency response procedures for the office.

MaPS will continue to support offices through property and maintenance services and checks. If you become aware of issues in your office please log the issue through Ventia by email or by calling 1300 652 114.

You should review and update your emergency and COVID-safe plan, in consultation with your colleagues. Discussions may include how you will manage and respond to a potential further outbreak of COVID-19 and staffing arrangements.

Ensure your QR code check-in and COVIDsafe posters are still clearly visible. Additional information on COVID safe planning can be found at:

Responding to COVID-19 exposure

It is vital that you follow local state or territory health advice in relation to COVID-19 including staying up to date with the latest information about the spread of COVID-19 and the steps being taken to slow the spread.

Information on how to report and manage a COVID-19 exposure in your workplace is available on the MaPS and Health websites, including details for the National Coronavirus Help Line (1800 020 080).

Vaccination and leave arrangements

Vaccination requirements vary across each state and territory. Information on vaccination including for employees, contractors and visitors can be found on the Safe Work Australia website. Employees should contact their relevant local state or territory health authority if they have questions or concerns in relation to public health orders that have been made in their state or territory.

Consistent with whole-of-government arrangements, employees can take paid time, including reasonable travel time, to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Where an employee is unwell following a vaccination they can access paid or unpaid personal leave, in line with the usual arrangements for personal leave where an employee is unfit for work. Employees who have insufficient paid personal leave credits can access other leave entitlements such as annual leave, or miscellaneous leave can be considered on a case-by-case basis following discussions with their employing parliamentarian and MaPS.

Support available

MaPS is here to support you. If you have any questions about safe work whilst transitioning back into the workplace please contact the MaPS Help Desk.

Confidential counselling is available to all staff, their family and household members under the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Call 1800 945 145 at any time to make an appointment, including for on‑site EAP counselling at Parliament House during sitting weeks. As noted above, information including support for those working from home and transitioning back to the workplace is available on the Safe Work Australia website.