Update on information for employees at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19

The challenge of how we work with ‘higher risk’ employees to keep them safe has been one of the top issues occupying the minds of the executive, managers and employees over recent weeks. Several questions touched on these issues during our employee forums.

The frequently asked questions, screening checklist and process-flow for high-risk employees have all been updated on the COVID-19 employee website. The changes are based on the most recent advice from DHHS.

The changes include:

  • An updated screening checklist
  • An updated process flow, so managers and employees understand the steps they need to take
  • A new Acknowledgement of employer advice form, which should be downloaded and completed by employees who wish to continue in their role/area, despite the possible risks.
  • Updated and additional frequently asked questions to help people understand our process for managing employees who may be at higher risk. This includes new information on advice for pregnant employees, applicable pay and leave arrangements and the usage of the acknowledgement of employer advice.

You should assess yourself against the higher risk criteria specified in the FAQ or screening checklist. If you fall into any one of the categories of people who would potentially become seriously ill if you contract COVID-19, you need to complete the screening checklist and follow the process to have your associated risks assessed.

In the case of chronic health conditions, pregnancy, immunosuppression or other medical conditions, you will be required to support your completed screening checklist with evidence. This would normally include a medical certificate where possible. If a statutory declaration is provided, please note additional evidence may be requested. All screening checklists and supporting medical evidence will be stored on a confidential, secure database accessible only by the assessment team (which includes the nursing and clinical panel).

Most assessments should be completed within 24 – 48 hours, and you should remain in your role while this is completed. However, if you have any immediate concerns, discuss them with your manager.

The screening process for higher risk employees is designed to ensure our employees and patients are safe.  Where required, we are working with team members to find suitable alternative work arrangements; this can include temporarily changing roles or location or working from home.

Authorised by Karen Lowe, Executive Director, People and Culture on 28 April 2020
Signed off by HICT on 29 April 2020

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