It is essential that we continue to manage COVID-19 in our workplaces.
What should I do if I contract COVID-19
It is no longer a legal requirement for people diagnosed with COVID-19 to isolate. However, staying at home protects the people around you and the broader community from COVID-19.
- Tell your parliamentarian
- If you are symptomatic and are unable to perform work, you can access personal leave consistent with the provisions set out in the Commonwealth Parliament Members of Parliament (Staff) Agreement 2020-23.
- Parliamentarians can approve working from home arrangements for any employee engaged under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 including where those staff are required to self-isolate or where you direct staff to work from home.
- Consistent with your obligations to proactively take care of your own health and safety while at work, all employees working remotely must take active steps to set up a safe working environment.
Physical, Mental and Financial Support
It is important to acknowledge the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on us all. You have access to various avenues for support and for more information please go to Responding and support | Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (finance.gov.au) for some helpful advice.
For information on the current status of COVID-19 in Australia, please visit the Department of Health website and/or the following links for specific information depending on your location:
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- North Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
Do MaPS provide masks for MOP(S) Act employees?
Limited numbers of masks can be claimed as an office expense for use within the workplace. Masks can be purchased through COS. Instructions on the correct use and storage of masks should be provided with your purchase.
Does MaPS provide rapid antigen testing kits for MOP(S) Act employees?
No, MaPS does not provide rapid antigen testing kits for parliamentarians or their staff, regardless of whether staff are intending, or required, to travel.
If I have to work from home, will I get reimbursed for the cost of data and phone usage?
Parliamentarians are provided ICT equipment (including mobile devices) by DPS as office resources. Additional ICT equipment and services can be provided by DPS with costs met from parliamentarians’ annual budget for office expenses. The cost of software, including cloud-based services and storage, can also be met as an office expense.
MOP(S) staff who are required to meet costs personally, such as mobile phone and data use, may wish to seek a discretionary payment. This is provided under clause 26 of the MOPS Enterprise Agreement.
To be eligible:
- You must be a current MOP(S) Act employee
- You mustn’t have received, or be intending to receive, reimbursement or compensation through other means
- You must have incurred additional costs (which are able to be quantified) that you would not have otherwise incurred, e.g. additional mobile data costs beyond the allocation under your mobile plan
- The additional costs must represent value for money, e.g. you sought to minimise costs by purchasing an additional block of data, rather than paying for individual gigabytes
- The additional costs must be directly related to working remotely because of COVID-19.
To check the eligibility of your claim or to submit a claim please email MOPSWHS@finance.gov.au
Am I still covered under workers compensation while I am working from home?
Yes. Where an employee has approval to work from home you will be covered under the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act).
Can I take equipment that has been prescribed for me in a workstation assessment (e.g. special keyboard, special mouse, ergonomic chair) home with me?
If you have already been provided with ergonomic equipment from a prior assessment and require the equipment to enable you to work remotely, you should speak with your employer about safely transporting the equipment to your home for the duration of your working from home arrangement. All equipment must be returned to your workplace once the arrangement has ceased.
Please contact DPS on (02) 6277 2020 regarding any ICT equipment you may wish to take home with you.
What are my obligations regarding staying in touch with my employer while I am working from home? How do I communicate with my colleagues while I am working from home?
This should be discussed within your teams, however it is very important to ensure regular communication is maintained if working remotely.
Managers should be ensuring all team members working remotely remain connected with the team and are in regular contact.
A platform that lets you work anywhere, anytime, on any device. GovTEAMS is a comprehensive whole-of-government collaboration service for the Australian Public Service.
What happens if I am injured while working from home?
Seek medical attention if required and notify your supervisor that you have sustained an injury and submit an incident report through Skytrust at www.skytrust.co as soon as possible. You could also call the WHS provider on 1300 418 288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to notify of the incident.
What if I have a pre-existing injury?
If you currently have a compensable condition or are receiving support through MaPS for a non-compensable condition, it is important that you continue to adhere to any medical restrictions and return to work programs that have been implemented.
What should I do if I want more information about MaPS response to COVID-19?
If you have any questions, please contact MOPSWHS@finance.gov.au or call 02 6215 3333 (opt 2).