On 9 March 2020 the Department of Health and Human Services issued advice to be implemented by employers for the management of the spread of COVID-19. This includes special-directives for healthcare workers who have recently travelled overseas or are at risk of COVID-19 infection.
The below provides information about the DHHS directives and your responsibilities as a healthcare worker and employees of Monash Health.
When should employee notify work?
You must immediately notify work if you:
- have recently travelled to a high risk region or country
- have been in close contact to someone who is suspected to be infected with COVID-19
- are suffering, or have suffered, flu-like symptoms – runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever, difficulty breathing
Who you should notify if you are at risk of COVID-19 infection:
- Nurse and Midwives should report to Nurse Manager
- Allied Health Employees should report to your line Manager
- Junior Medical Staff should report to your Roster Manager
- Senior Medical Staff should report to your Unit Director
- All other employees should report to your line Manager
What happens if I’ve just returned from a high-risk country or region?
Travellers returning from “high-risk” countries are required to self-isolate for 14 days. Therefore Monash Health employee who have returned from high-risk countries must not attend work for 14 days after their return. A list of the current high risk overseas destinations can be found at; https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/coronavirus-covid-19
If you are required to self-isolate due to travel prior to 9 March 2020 access to paid special leave is will be available for 14 days while you remain asymptomatic i.e. If you begin to show symptoms, you are required to be tested. If you test positive for COVID-19 you can access personal leave for the duration of the illness
If you test positive for COVID-19 – you must access personal leave for the duration of the illness and until the risk of infection has passed. If you do not have enough personal leave to cover the period of absence, other paid and unpaid leave entitlements can be used (such as annual leave). Access to further paid special leave will be considered on a case by case basis.
If you travel to a high-risk destination from 9 March 2020 – you must take personal leave (paid or unpaid if you do not have enough paid leave or annual leave) for the 14-day isolation period on your return. You are not entitled to special leave.
What if I am caring for someone who has or is suspected to be infected with COVID-19?
You may access personal/carer’s leave, other paid or unpaid leave options.
We may be able to consider ‘working from home arrangements’ for some or all of your absence if it is practical and appropriate. Please discuss this option with your manager.
What if I can’t attend work because schools and/or pre-schools are closed due to COVID-19 concerns?
You may access annual leave, then personal, which covers sick leave and carer’s leave or other form of paid or unpaid leave.
What if I become sick while at work after exposure to an infected person?
You will be directed away from work for 14 days and may access personal leave.
When can I come back to work?
If you were positive for COVID 19: Medical clearance must be provided for anyone who has been COVID 19 positive prior to their return to work.
If you are in isolation due to travel or exposure: You can return to work if you’ve experienced no symptoms and your 14 days isolation period is complete.
If you are caring for a person with COVID-19: You can you can return to work if you’ve experienced no symptoms for 14 days following the end of the infective period of the person. (e.g. child is sick for 5 days, you can return to work 14 days after this period).
For more information about your leave entitlements in relation to COVID-19 please go to https://coronavirus.monashhealth.org/ which will have the latest information. On the ‘frequently asked questions’ page, you can submit a specific query. Alternatively, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All employees are reminded of our Employee Assistance Program – telephone 1300 687 327 if you have concerns about how coronavirus is affecting you or your family. For any other advice contact People and Culture.