Many areas will experience a change in current work practise 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.
As part of business continuity planning, agencies may wish to consider actions including:
- Redeploying staff to assist in areas that have an increased workload
- Establishing a GovTeams platform to share information and unclassified materials with employees that cannot access Protected Networks
- Undertaking forward planning, reading and research activities
- Administrative activities including records management and corporate tasks
- Enabling employees to complete online training to support their learning and development
- Facilitating employees to take leave including recreational leave, flex or TOIL, in consultation with their manager
Employees who are not on an approved form of leave should be prepared to work their usual number of hours as per their Enterprise Agreement.
Agencies should also be considering how employees can safely work from home, where appropriate. Working from home is covered under the Work Health Safety Act 2011. Agencies must consider work health and safety requirements under the Act when employees work from home.
Comcare has produced a home-based work checklist which sets out things to consider as part of any work from home arrangement.
The ATO has published advice on the tax deductibility of home office expenses.
Employees working remotely have the same obligations under the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act) as they do at their usual place of work. Agencies should remind their employees about the APS Values, Employment Principles and Code of Conduct.