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Key messages to the APS

Information for APS employees

Working arrangements during COVID-19

The Australian Public Service Commissioner, Peter Woolcott AO, today released new guidance for public servants in planning for a COVID-safe transition for APS workplaces.

The guidance has been established in line with the direction from the Prime Minister and the National Cabinet on the gradual relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions across the economy.

The guidance urges agency heads to implement the National COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Principles, ensure staff are adhering to physical distancing principles and are following the latest health advice from the Department of Health and the Chief Medical Officer.

The following information is currently available to assist APS employees

Mobility arrangements during COVID-19

The Prime Minister has asked APS Agency Heads to identify their most critical functions and the work that can be slowed or paused for a short time. The purpose is to identify APS staff who can mobilise across government functions to maintain our most critical functions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leave arrangements during COVID-19

Circular 2020/1: COVID-19 leave arrangements provides guidance to:

  1. assist in addressing employee questions about COVID-19 and what response the employer may take; and
  2. 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.

APS employees who contract the coronavirus

If an employee is displaying symptoms, they should speak with their manager, go home and contact either their GP or Health Direct on 1800 022 222.

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.

COVIDsafe workplaces

Safe Work Australia has current advice in relation to COVID-19 information for workplaces, including physical distancing and hygiene measures for office environments and the use of lift facilities.

Safe Work Australia also provides a useful overview of how employer and employee duties under the WHS Act relate to COVID-19.

Comcare has compiled guidance, resources and practical tips to support employers and employees.

The latest health guidance is available on the Department of Health website.

Australia.gov.au is the official Australian Government response website to provide support and updates to Australians on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Work travel advice for visiting remote communities

The guidance Information for workers from Australian Government Agencies, services and programs visiting remote communities aims to protect people in remote communities by minimising the risk of introduction of COVID-19 into those communities. The guidance provides a risk management approach designed to limit non-essential travel to remote communities and ensure stringent health protocols for Australian Government workers engaging in essential travel.

This guidance is supported by a Risk Management Plan for Australian Government Agencies for Government worker travel to remote communities.

Additional advice

Agencies seeking further information can contact covid19 [at] apsc.gov.au

Last reviewed: 
31 July 2020