On this page
- Looking after your mental health - Supporting other in times of uncertainty (PDF 747kb) | 03 April 2020
- Circular 2020/3: COVID-19 – Remote working and evolving work arrangements | 02 April 2020
- APS Workforce Management Taskforce - Standard Secondment terms and conditions (PDF 531kb) | 01 April 2020
- APS Workforce Management Frequently Asked Questions | 30 March 2020
- Media release - Updated guidance on staff working from home arrangements | 29 March 2020
- Looking after your mental health - Responding to uncertainty fact sheet (PDF 722kb) | 27 March 2020
- APSC response to ABC News story | 26 March 2020
Key messages to the APS
- Open letter to the APS from the Honourable Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Cabinet (PDF 584kb) | 20 March 2020
- Open letter to the APS from PM&C Secretary Philip Gaetjens and APS Commissioner Peter Woolcott (PDF 70kb) | 20 March 2020
- Open Letter to the APS on the APS Workforce Management Taskforce from APS Commissioner Peter Woolcott AO | 26 March 2020
Read the latest news from The Department of Health. Watch out for current health warnings.
What you need to know about coronavirus (COVID-19)
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection.
To find out who is at risk and what you should do if you think you have COVID-19 refer to the Department of Health website.
Working arrangements during COVID-19
Many areas will experience a change in current work practice as a result of COVID-19. Some work areas may experience a significantly reduced workload, while other areas may experience a significant increase in workload. Some areas will not be able to access systems remotely. Some critical areas of the APS will require more staff, and non-critical staff may be moved to assist these areas.
The following information is currently available to assist APS employees
- APS Workforce Management Frequently Asked Questions
- Circular 2020/3: Remote working and evolving work arrangements
- Working from home during COVID-19: Advice to agencies
- Workplace Flexibility: a best practice guide for Australian Public Sector Agencies (Word 2mb)
Leave arrangements during COVID-19
Circular 2020/1: COVID-19 leave arrangements provides guidance to:
- assist in addressing employee questions about COVID-19 and what response the employer may take; and
- guide decision making around attendance at work and accessing leave provisions, if employees present with symptoms or indicate they are at risk of having been exposed to COVID-19.
If an employee advises they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a medical practitioner, the employee should be given access to paid Personal Leave for personal illness in accordance with the agency’s workplace arrangements.
If the employee has insufficient credits to cover the medically advised period, paid Discretionary Leave (or equivalent) should be provided. Refer to Circular 2020/1: COVID-19 leave arrangements for additional information.
Workplace principles for minimising the spread of COVID-19 aim to minimise the outbreak’s impact on the:
- health of Australians,
- health system, and
A key strategy in its approach is to reduce and slow disease transmission by isolating confirmed or potential cases.
Current protocols for managing the workplace in the event of identifying a confirmed or potential case is to subsequently identify close contacts, who also are required to self-isolate, close contact being defined as:
- greater than 15 minutes face-to-face contact in any setting with a confirmed case in the period extending from 24 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed case, or
- sharing of a closed space with a confirmed case for a prolonged period (e.g. more than 2 hours) in the period extending from 24 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed case.
Managing social distancing within the workplace
Agencies should refer to COVID-19 - Social distancing and transmission reduction, advice for agency managers to inform decision making on how best to manage their workforce.
Work travel advice for visiting remote communities
Measures to reduce non-essential access to remote/isolated communities and to ensure a simple self-assessment of risk and adherence to public health advice for essential travel can significantly help to protect the health and wellbeing of Australians living in remote communities.
Refer to the fact sheet Information for workers from Australian Government Agencies, services and programs visiting remote communities for further information.
If you’re concerned
If you have any concerns or if you are displaying symptoms speak with your manager, go home and contact either your GP or Health Direct on 1800 022 222.
Agencies seeking further information contact covid19 [at] apsc.gov.au