Amélie Housing is committed to meeting its Work, Health and Safety Obligations for all stakeholders and committed to supporting workplace wellbeing

Amélie Housing is aware of the global situation for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Amélie Housing   this policy outlines the steps Amélie Housing is taking and information for all stakeholders about infection control for COVID-19 and any other respiratory illness in the workplace.

This policy applies to all stakeholders of Amélie Housing.

This includes

  • Staff
  • Tenants
  • Applicants
  • Contractors
  • Board & Volunteers

Principles

All Amélie Housing’s stakeholders contribute to Work, Health and Safety.

Amélie Housing is committed to proactive and supportive infection control, safety and wellbeing for all stakeholders.

Objectives

This policy provides the framework for:

  • Responding to COVID-19

Strategies

Response to COVID-19:

Covid-19 is a novel coronavirus capable of causing pneumonia and a range of symptoms including cough, sore throat, fever, and headache. It is infectious, and capable of spreading between person to person.

People of all ages can be affected, however elderly people and those with prior illnesses (asthma, diabetes, heart disease are more vulnerable to severe illness.

Amélie Housing is following the advice of state and federal governments in relation to management of COVID-19. Please note the current situation is rapidly evolving, and policies may change in response to government advice levels.

Information on COVID-19 on which this policy is based: (links open in new window)

Federal Government:  Australian Government Department of Health Advice 

New South Wales: NSW Health Covid-19 Response and Frequently asked questions

ACT Health Directorate: Latest information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the ACT

South Australia: SA Health Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Business Continuity:

Amélie Housing has an active business continuity plan in the case of natural disasters, other emergencies and disease outbreaks.

Amélie Housing response for business continuity is guided by advice from Federal and State governments and includes practices like requesting staff to work from home where possible, or self-isolation at home if a person becomes unwell.

The following section outlines what Amélie Housing requests of staff at the current time and is subject to change as the situation evolves.

Working from Home:

Please ensure all staff are aware that where possible, staff are requested to Work from Home (WfH) as part of Amélie Housing response to Covid-19, according to advice on social distancing provided by NSW Health. Additional information is provided below for essential staff required to be in offices or on sites who become unwell.

Managers:

Please ensure all staff are aware of the need to stay home if they become unwell follow leave arrangements as set out in the policy. Please be aware that home visits such as property inspections and routine or responsive maintenance may be impacted at this time and plan accordingly. In addition, should childcare, or schools be affected by closures please make arrangements for staff to work from home.

Supervisors:

Each first line supervisor is responsible, to ensure that staff who become unwell at work, or who become unwell  are supported to access medical care or self-isolate, or work from home for the period of time recommended by their state government, and take leave as set out in the policy.

Employees:

All employees are supported to report immediately to a supervisor if they become unwell in the previous seven dayswith respiratory symptoms, even if they are mild. Employees are requested not to come to work if they have mild symptoms, but to make arrangements to work from home and take leave as set out in the policy.

Contractors, Sub-Contractors and Visitors:

All visitors, contractors and sub-contractors engaged to perform work on Amélie Housing’s premises are politely requested not to come to offices or work sites if they have been unwell in the previous seven days, and to follow and comply with all state and federal health authority guidelines and advice.

Home Isolation

We are following the advice of NSW Health in relation to home isolation. Guidance from NSW Health is that you need to isolate yourself in your home for fourteen days if you have been:

  • in contact with a person sick with COVID-19 infection in or transited through mainland China (not including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) in the past 14 days
  • in or transited through Iran in the past 14 days
  • in or transited through Italy on or after 1 March 2020 in or transited through South Korea on or after 5 March 2020
  • Arrived in Australia from any international location from midnight, Sunday 14th March

if you fall into these categories, you should absent yourself from the workplace of Amélie premises for fourteen days.When in home isolation, you should monitor yourself for symptoms. Watch for:

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
  • other early symptoms to watch for are chills, body aches, sore throat,
  • headache and runny nose, muscle pain, or diarrhoea.

If you have been tested for COVID-19 and the result was negative, you must still remain in isolation for fourteen days if you fall into one of the categories for home isolation.

Leave from the workplace due to Covid-19

If you are required to be absent from the workplace where possible then Amélie will

support working from home arrangements. If it is not possible for you to work from

home, you will be able to take paid leave:

Special Leave: At the discretion of their State Manager, an employee is entitled to up to 10 working days Special Leave.

Existing Leave: An employee may utilise any of their existing leave entitlements, including Personal Leave (sick or carers leave); annual leave; long service leave or time off in lieu

Personal Leave in advance: An employee who has exhausted the leave

referred to above is entitled to draw down on up to 10 days’ Personal Leave

in advance that is yet to accrue.

Amélie employees who become ill or are caring for a family member who has

contracted the pandemic virus should utilise their Personal Leave entitlements.

Tenant Support for Covid-19

Amélie Housing is committed to the health and wellbeing of tenants. Persons over 65 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders over 50 may be at risk of complications from COVID-19.  In addition, persons with additional needs or on lower income may be impacted by current supply shortages of essential items.

Amélie Housing will

  • Refer tenants to support services to assist them in obtaining essential supplies and links to health services
  • Check on tenant wellbeing by phone or ensure that older or vulnerable tenants have support plans in place should they become unwell and require emergency or medical assistance

Please see Tenant and Visitor Information for Covid-19 for detailed information on how Amélie Housing is working to ensure continuity of service and support to all tenants and visitors.

Infection control training

Australian Department of Health Free Online Training

For information and training on infection control during the pandemic, Amélie Housing encourages all staff and stakeholders to complete the online training module developed and provided free by the Australian Government Department of Health. Please click on the link to register and complete the training, and share with people in the community sector.

General infection control

For information on general infection control, hygiene and hand washing, please see guidelines from the World Health Organisation

For information getting “workplace ready” in a pandemic situation, please see information from the World Health Organization.

Handwashing:

Amélie Housing reminds staff, contractors, visitors and other stakeholders to please use available facilities to regularly wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol based hand sanitizer if you are in a location away from the office or home where soap and water is not readily available.

Please see guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) on hand washing with soap and water and alcohol based hand sanitizer.

Coughing, sneezing

If you cough and sneeze, cover your nose and mouth please sneeze or cough into your flexed elbow and make sure any tissues are placed in the bin immediately.

If people around you are sick

Please try and practice “social distancing” which means staying one metre or more away from any person who is sick with fever, coughing, shortness of breath.

Workstation hygiene

If working on site during this time, in addition to cleaning services provided, please clean your workstation daily with sanitizer or disinfectant spray provided in the office for staff use. Avoid allowing others to use your workstation and/or phone.

Resource implications

We recognise that responding effectively to Covid-19 as an organization requires additional resources.

This includes

  • Additional resources for work from home arrangements
  • Additional arrangements for temporary staff if required
  • Regular monitoring and review of government requirements in relation to infection control and actions

Please note: this policy will be updated regularly in a rapidly evolving situation.

Last updated: 17/03/2020

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