Furloughed employees

If you have been furloughed (asked to isolate from work) because you are a close contact with someone who has COVID-19 or you have tested positive, it is important you read and follow this information.

Information for furloughed employees

FAQs for Furloughed Employees

What does ‘Furloughed Employees’ mean? 

A furloughed employee is someone who is not able to attend the workplace as they are required to isolate following close contact with an individual who has tested positive or are positive themselves. If an individual tests negative and are well, they are able to work from home if that is possible for the work group.

What is deemed a close contact?  

A close contact will be defined by the Infection Prevention team for each contact trace and is determined by the time and closeness of the contact as well as if PPE has been used by the COVID-19 positive individual or the contact.

Infection Prevention will lead this process so it is important to wait for guidance from them.

What does self-isolation mean? 

This means you must quarantine yourself at home or in accommodation during the defined period which is determined by infection prevention. This is generally 14 days after you were last exposed to the infectious person. The Infection Prevention team will contact each person individually and inform them of their particular release date.

  • If you are in self-isolation, you must not leave your accommodation except to seek medical attention or in an emergency. 
  • You should stay in a different room to other people as much as possible. Sleep in a separate bedroom and use a separate bathroom if available.
  • You should ensure shared spaces, including kitchens, are cleaned thoroughly after each use.
  • You must not use public transport or taxi services.

Where possible, you should get others such as friends or family, who are not required to be quarantined, to get food or other necessities for you.

Further information can also be found on the DHHS fact sheet following the below link:
https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/assessment-and-testing-criteria-coronavirus-covid-19#factsheets-for-patients-with-coronavirus-covid-19-and-close-contacts 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

During the self-isolation period, an employee should constantly monitor themselves for the following symptoms:

  • Loss or changes in sense of smell or taste
  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose

If you begin to feel unwell, and have any of the symptoms above, you should immediately get tested for COVID-19 at one of Monash Health walk-in clinics.

Further information can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 section.

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19#what-are-the-symptoms-of-coronavirus-covid-19

Do the close contacts or people I live with need to self-isolate?

No, the close contacts or people you live with will not need to self-isolate. If you show any symptoms please get tested immediately at one the Monash Health testing clinics as listed in the testing clinic question below.

Can my children still attend school?

Yes, as long as they are not displaying symptoms.

Who will keep in contact with me if I have to self-isolate? 

You will receive daily contact from the COVID-19 employee hotline or at a mutually agreed regularity. You will also receive contact from your manager on a regular/daily basis as established between yourself and your manager.

What methods of communication are we using to stay in touch with people and the team?

Your manager will set up a regular/daily forum for all impacted employees to ask questions and keep up to date where necessary.

Who do I need to call if I become aware if I, or another employee, may have been in contact with a COVID-19 positive individual that may have not yet have been identified?

You should escalate this information to the Infection Prevention team (9594 2623) and your manager.

What if I work across two work areas? 

All areas will be communicated with regarding leave and return to work dates.

What leave am I entitled to?  

All leave entitlements can be found by accessing the Monash Health coronavirus website for employees: https://coronavirus.monashhealth.org/employees/leave/

If I want to discuss my options in regards to WorkCover, who do I contact?  

Please contact the Injury Support team at injurysupport@monashhealth.org.

How long am I required to self-isolate following a COVID-19 test? 

If you are deemed to be a close contact of someone who has tested positive to COVID-19 you will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days from the last contact with that individual. At day 11 of this self-isolation period you will be asked to have a respiratory swab. When 14 days have elapsed and it is confirmed that the day 11 swab is negative you will be released from isolation.

If you test positive, the DHHS will discuss what you need to do. Generally, a healthcare worker is allowed to return to work when at least 10 days have lapsed since the symptoms started and they have had no symptoms for at least 3 days. The DHHS will send you notification that you are released from isolation and you should send this to Infection Prevention for confirmation.

If you require testing because you are symptomatic:

  • if positive, you will need to remain away from work for the period defined by the DHHS.
  • If negative, you can return to work when you are well.

Please refer to the below links for additional details.
https://coronavirus.monashhealth.org/employees/leave/
https://coronavirus.monashhealth.org/employees/employee-testing/

What are the entitlements for a casual employee who is required to isolate?  

Refer to ‘Leave Relating to Illness and COVID-19’ section of below link and ensure that the Monash Health Bureau 9265 1789 are notified.

https://coronavirus.monashhealth.org/employees/leave/

What happens if some of my team is furloughed and I/the remainder of my team is not?

If your work area is closed then your manager will try to reassign you to another appropriate role within Monash Health.

If you can be reassigned but choose not to accept the reassignment you will need to discuss taking paid leave (annual leave or long service leave) and/or unpaid leave with your manager.

What happens if I work at another organisation? Will I be reimbursed?

Monash Health will not reimburse you for that workplace, however you may be able to claim support payments as listed on the DHHS website. You may also wish to communicate with  the other organisation to understand what entitlements they provide.

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/response-outbreaks-covid-19#i-live-in-one-of-the-suburbs-identified-do-i-need-to-stay-at-home

If I have ADOs or Annual Leave booked, what leave am I entitled to?

If you have leave scheduled through the furlough period, it will be cancelled and be replaced by the appropriate leave depending on your scenario as found on the Monash Health Coronavirus website.

If I am furloughed, can I access food delivery services?

Yes, a furloughed employee can reasonably access food delivery services. You will be able to claim reasonable costs up to a maximum amount of $85 per day. To be reimbursed, you must complete the meal reimbursement form and provide copies of receipts to your manager for approval to then be sent onto Payroll Services for reimbursement.

Will I be charged for Car Parking whilst I am on furlough leave?

You will not be charged for car parking whilst on any form of paid leave. If you are working from home due to being furloughed and not on any leave, you will need to follow the process on the car parking reimbursement form.

Who do I contact if I need assistance with accommodation for Furlough?

You may be eligible for free emergency accommodation if you are required to self isolate and can’t do so safely in your current accommodation. For example, if you cannot self-isolate in a separate bedroom and bathroom. Further information can also be found on the Monash Health Coronavirus website for employees or contacting the COVID-19 employee hotline.

Phone: 9594 5815
EmailCOVID19Accomodation@monashhealth.org

https://coronavirus.monashhealth.org/employees/emergency-accommodation/

Where should I get tested?

If you are required to undertake tests as part of this process, you are encouraged to attend one of Monash Health’s clinics for faster results.

What if I am unable to get to a screening clinic?

You should contact the COVID-19 employee hotline on 9594 5815 for further assistance.

Who can I contact for assistance with medication/prescriptions?

You can contact the COVID-19 employee hotline 9594 5815.
Any infection prevention queries should initially be directed to the COVID-19 employee hotline on MBX_COVID19employeeenquiries@monashhealth.org or 9594 5815

What are the contacts for mental health assistance that I may need?

All assistance, contacts and resources can be found on the below link:

https://coronavirus.monashhealth.org/health-and-wellbeing/emotional-and-mental-health/

Can I be asked to work from home while I am on furlough by my manager?

All employees must complete both their mandatory and essential trainings while they are on furlough. In addition, yes you can be asked to work from home, as long as you are not unwell. Any work you will be asked to do will not require you to come on site.

If I am required to work from home, how do I set up Webex meetings and other working from home tools I may need?

You can follow the below link for assistance on setting this up. For further details you can contact IT services on the number in the contact section.

http://intranet.southernhealth.org.au/shcs/documents/Webex/Webex%20user%20guide%20for%20installation%20of%20application.pdf

How do I set up webmail from home?

All webmail links can be found on the Monash Health Employee Self Service (ESS) section of the MonashHealth.org website or contacting IT services on 9594 7255. You can also access the Global Webmail Guide for further information.

What happens when I return from the furlough period?

When the COVID-19 Employee Hotline clear you to return to the workplace, your manager will contact you to discuss any changes that may have occurred whilst you were away.

Information for managers

FAQs for Managers

What does ‘furloughed employees’ mean?

A furloughed employee is someone who is not able to attend the workplace as they are required to self isolate following contact with a COVID-19 positive person or are positive themselves. If a furloughed employee tests negative and are well, they are able to work from home if that is possible for the work group.

What is my role as Manager if there is contact with a COVID-19 positive person in my area?

Notify the Infection Prevention team on 9594 2623, remain calm, ensure appropriate PPE and cleaning are in place. Await contact from the Infection Prevention team who will inform you of the next steps. The Infection Prevention team will follow up and notify specific individuals about contact tracing.

What is deemed a close contact?

A close contact will be defined by the Infection Prevention team and is determined by the time and closeness of the contact as well as if Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been used by the individual who had tested positive to COVID-19 or the contact themselves.

The Infection Prevention team will lead this process so its important to wait for guidance from them.

What does self-isolation mean?

This means an employee must quarantine at home or in accommodation during the defined period which is determined by the Infection Prevention team. This is generally 14 days after an employee was last exposed to the infectious person. The Infection Prevention team will contact each person individually and inform them of their particular release date.

  • The employee must not leave their accommodation except to seek medical attention or in an emergency. 
  • The employee should stay in a different room from other people as much as possible. This includes sleeping in a separate bedroom and using a separate bathroom if available.
  • The employee should ensure shared spaces including kitchens are cleaned thoroughly after each use.
  • The employee must not use public transport or taxi services.

Where possible, the employee should get others such as friends or family who are not required to be quarantined, to get food or other necessities for them.

Further information can also be found on the DHHS fact sheet – available at:
https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/assessment-and-testing-criteria-coronavirus-covid-19#factsheets-for-patients-with-coronavirus-covid-19-and-close-contacts 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

During the self-isolation period, an employee should constantly monitor themselves for the following symptoms:

  • Loss or changes in sense of smell or taste
  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose

If an employee begins to feel unwell, or exhibits any of the symptoms above, they should immediately get tested for COVID-19 at one of the Monash Health walk-in clinics.

Further information can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 section.

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19#what-are-the-symptoms-of-coronavirus-covid-19

Do the close contacts or people employees live with need to self-isolate?

No, the close contacts or people an employee lives with will not need to self-isolate. If the employee shows any symptoms they must get tested immediately at one the Monash Health testing clinics as listed in the testing clinic question below.

Can a furloughed employees’ children still attend school?

Yes, as long as they are not displaying symptoms.

What should I do to keep in contact with an individual team member?

Your employee/s will receive daily contact from the COVID-19 employee hotline or on a mutually agreed regularity. You   must establish regular communication  with your team member/s.

What should I do to keep in contact with my team if some of the work area is required to self-isolate?

Please keep in contact with your team members and establish with them whether they require any additional assistance. You should use tools currently available to you to stay in contact with your team whether that be via Webex, SMS, or phonecalls where possible, and establish with each of them individually what they require. If appropriate, you may need to utilise the process outlined in the ‘People and Culture – Welfare Check’ document which can be found on PROMPT.

Regular virtual meetings should be set up via appropriate methods such as Webex with the team as well.

Should I keep in contact with the remainder of my team who remain at work?

Yes, you should keep in contact to ensure that all employees in your team are communicated with to advise them of what is happening, ensuring you do not breach the privacy of any individuals.

This can be a worrying time for colleagues so please ensure they are aware of and can use Monash Health’s Employee Assistance Program or other supports which may be suitable. Consult the Monash Health coronavirus website for employees to access more information on health and wellbeing support.

Who is/should be doing welfare checks?

The manager will be responsible to complete welfare checks as well as the COVID-19 employee hotline as mutually agreed.
Who provides employee contact information?

This information can be obtained via Chris21, your People and Culture Business Partner, or Payroll Services (9265 2724) if there are a large number of employees.

Who do I need to call if I become aware of another employee who may have been in contact with an individual who tested positive to COVID-19 that may have not yet been identified?

You should escalate this information to the Infection Prevention team on 9594 2623, your manager and your People and Culture Business Partner.

Can I ask my employees to work from home while on furlough?

Yes, as long as they are not unwell, and all the work is able to be completed from home and will not require the employee to come on site. You will need to ensure that you communicate clearly what the work is, how to complete this, and the outcome. You can also ask your employees to complete any mandatory training.

What if an employee works across two work areas?

All impacted work areas must be communicated with around leave periods and return to work dates.

What should I do when my team returns from furlough?

Meet with employees returning to the workplace and advise them of any potential changes since they have been gone and a general check in to see how their time off went and if they need anything further.

What leave are employees entitled to?

All leave entitlements can be found on the Monash Health coronavirus website for employees: https://coronavirus.monashhealth.org/employees/leave/

How will I ensure my employees are paid?

Depending on the leave an employee is entitled to, please visit the leave page and follow the flowchart to get more direction on how to ensure your employees are paid. If an employee is entitled to Special Leave, the manager will be able to enter the special leave code (Special Pd LVE-COVID) into their individual Kronos timesheet. It is the responsibility of the manager on duty to ensure that this process is followed.

Information on the leave page about leave types and Kronos codes will help you with this process.

If an employee wants to discuss their options in regards to WorkCover, who do they contact?

Please contact the Injury Support Team at injurysupport@monashhealth.org.

How long is an employee required to self-isolate following a COVID-19 test?

If you are deemed to be a close contact of someone who has tested positive to COVID-19 you will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days from the last contact with that individual. At day 11 of this self-isolation period you will be asked to have a respiratory swab. When 14 days has elapsed and it is confirmed that the day 11 swab is negative you will be released from isolation.

If you test positive, the DHHS will discuss what you need to do. Generally, a healthcare worker is allowed to return to work when at least 10 days have lapsed since the symptoms started and they have had no symptoms for at least 3 days. The DHHS will send you notification that you are released from isolation and you should send this to Infection Prevention for confirmation.

If you require testing because you are symptomatic, if positive, you will need to remain away from work for the period defined by the DHHS. If negative, you can return to work when you are well.

Please refer to the below links for additional details.

https://coronavirus.monashhealth.org/employees/employee-testing/

What are the entitlements for a casual employee who is required to isolate?

Refer to ‘Leave Relating to Illness and COVID-19’ section of link below and ensure that the Monash Health Bureau 9265 1789 are notified.

https://coronavirus.monashhealth.org/employees/leave/ 

What happens if some of my team is furloughed and I/the remainder of my team are not?

Should your work area be closed then there will need to be consideration given to reassigning the employee/s to another appropriate role within your program first. This is the responsibility of the manager however if you are unable to determine other appropriate work please contact the Monash Health Bureau who can assist with other tasks that an employee can be reassigned to.

If an employee can be reassigned but chooses not to accept the reassignment they will need to discuss taking paid leave (annual leave or long service leave) and/or unpaid leave.

Ensure you continue to communicate with your employees during the reassignment period and keep them informed of the timing for reopening of the Service/unit and their return to the workplace.

If my team members have ADOs, Annual Leave, or Long Service Leave booked, what leave will they be entitled to?

If an employee has ADOs, Annual Leave, or Long service Leave scheduled throughout the furlough period, it will be cancelled and replaced with the appropriate leave depending on the scenario as found on the Monash Health Coronavirus website.

https://coronavirus.monashhealth.org/employees/leave/ 

What about employees/students who work elsewhere, will they be reimbursed for not being able to attend that workplace?

No, however they may be able to claim support payments as listed on the DHHS website linked below. An employee must communicate with their other Employer to understand further entitlements from that workplace.

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/response-outbreaks-covid-19#i-live-in-one-of-the-suburbs-identified-do-i-need-to-stay-at-home 

If employees are furloughed, can they access food delivery services?

Yes, a furloughed employee can reasonably access food delivery services. Employees can be reimbursed for grocery delivery fee (not inclusive of groceries) and if they do not have access to a kitchen employees will be able to claim reasonable costs for food delivery services up to maximum amount of $85 per day.

Employees must complete the claim form and provide copies of their receipts. Once authorised the claim is to be sent to Payroll for processing.

Will an employee still be charged for car parking?

An employee on any form of paid leave will not be charged for car parking. If an employee is working from home during their furlough period, they can apply for reimbursement for the hours worked from home following process on the form attached.

Who do employees contact if they need assistance with accommodation for their furlough?

Employees may be eligible for free emergency hotel accommodation if they are required to self isolate and can’t do so safely in their current accommodation, Further information can also be found on the Monash Health coronavirus website.
Phone: 9594 5815
Email: COVID19employeeenquiries@monashhealth.org

https://coronavirus.monashhealth.org/employees/emergency-accommodation/

Where should employees get tested?

Employees who are required to undertake COVID-19 screening tests as part of this process are encouraged to attend one of the Monash Health walk-in clinics at:
Berwick: 7 Gibb St
Dandenong: 169 Cleeland St
Clayton: 239 Clayton Rd

For up to date open hours for either of these clinics, refer to the Monash Health Coronavirus website on the link below.

Tests must be completed at these sites as they are the only clinics where Monash Health can guarantee a result within 24 hours.

https://monashhealth.org/patients-visitors/coronavirus/getting-tested/#screening-clinics 

What if an isolated employee is unable to get to a screening clinic?

Contact the COVID-19 employee hotline on 9594 5815 for further assistance.

Who can furloughed employees contact for assistance with medication/prescriptions?

Furloughed employees can contact the COVID-19 employee hotline 9594 5815.

Any infection prevention queries should initially be directed to the COVID-19 employee hotline on MBX_COVID19employeeenquiries@monashhealth.org or 9594 5815.

What are the contacts for mental health assistance that myself or my employees may need?

All assistance, contacts and resources can be found on the Monash Health coronavirus website for employees.

https://coronavirus.monashhealth.org/health-and-wellbeing/emotional-and-mental-health/

If I am required to work from home, how do I set up Webex meetings and other working from home tools that myself or my employees may need?

There are several useful pages on working from home and setting up your IT on the coronavirus website for employees. For further details you can contact IT services on the number in the contact section.

https://coronavirus.monashhealth.org/employees/working-from-home/

How do I set up webmail from home?

This can be found on the Monash Health website Employee Self Service section. Please contact IT Services on 9594 7255. An employee can also access the global Webmail guide for further assistance.

FAQs for Managers

PDF document

Close contact wellness diary

As a close contact you are required to stop working and self-isolate for 14 days from date of last contact with known case. Use the close contact wellness diary below to monitor COVID-19 symptoms.

Support and contact details

Contact information

  • COVID-19 Employee Hotline – 9594 5815
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – 1300 687 327
  • Call a Psychologist – 0418 905 414
  • IT Services – 9594 7255
  • Monash Health Bureau – 92651789
  • Injury Support Team – 9554 1852

DHHS guidance on COVID-19 close contacts

DHHS guidance for COVID-19 close contacts

Visit the DHHS website for the most up-to-date guidance on COVID-19 close contacts

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this