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Single site workforce arrangements are ending in NSW and the ACT on 15 November

Single site workforce arrangements are one of the many infection control measures which can help to limit transmission of COVID‑19.

Outbreaks in 2021 have triggered the activation of single site working arrangements and associated support funding in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales (NSW), Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.

Further to the decision of the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, to declare the hotspots in NSW and the ACT over on 17 and 18 October 2021 respectively, the situation in these areas has continued to stablise. On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, in consultation with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, it is now appropriate for residential aged care providers in these areas to commence transitioning out of single site arrangements.

This transition should occur over the next two weeks, with the end of single site employment on 15 November 2021, after which time workers can return to usual working arrangements. Providers must stay informed with any public health measures for these areas which can be found on NSW and ACT government websites.

The Chief Medical Officer announced the cessation of the Commonwealth hotspot for Victoria on 31 October 2021. The Commonwealth with Victoria will closely monitor levels of community transmission over the coming weeks and will provide further advice in due course on when single site arrangements will cease and providers can commence transition staff back to usual working arrangements

Support implementing these arrangements

We recognise that implementing single site arrangements has been complex and may result in additional out of pocket costs for approved providers. The Support for Aged Care Workers In COVID‑19 (SACWIC) grant opportunity remains open to enable approved providers to seek reimbursement for out of pocket expenses associated with implementing these arrangements.

To date, a total of 76 applications have been approved through this grant opportunity, supporting over 240 facilities with over $25 million in reimbursements.

Eligible providers are encouraged to consider the out of pocket costs they have incurred implementing these arrangements and apply for reimbursement where appropriate. As the activity period is ending for providers in NSW and the ACT, applications can now be made until 31 December 2021.

Examples of eligible workforce costs under SACWIC are those that will support eligible workers:

  • who normally work at multiple residential aged care facilities, but will be working solely at the facility being applied for;
  • who are not to attend work because they have been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, require testing or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements; or
  • to undertake training in the event a skills gap arises from where existing workers are not to work due to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements.

The Grant Opportunity Guidelines, online application form and regularly updated responses to frequently asked questions can be accessed on GrantConnect (Grant Opportunity – GO4215).

For those locations where single site arrangements are still active, please continue to monitor this advice and contact the Guiding Principles Support Hub website or hotline on 1800 491 793 for any queries.

Completing your SACWIC grant application

To apply, complete the online grant opportunity application form available on GrantConnect. You will need to address all eligibility criteria and include all necessary attachments.

Applications remain open until 31 December 2021.

The following supporting documentation will be requested:

Funding stream What we are verifying Required documentation
1. Supporting aged care workers to work at a single site. What the normal wage expenses are. Before Activity Period – Payroll summaries for an equal amount of time as the grant activity period, immediately prior to the activity period that itemise ALL staff and includes leave balances.
What the wage costs are for the Activity Period. During the Activity Period – Payroll summaries for the activity period that itemise ALL staff and includes leave balances.
2. Paid Pandemic Leave Amount spent on eligible leave where there was not any leave available to take A summary of eligible leave paid itemised by staff member.
3. Skills-gap training Type of training and training provider.

A statement that includes

  • an overview of the training and summary of learning objectives /  program summary,
  • the name of the training program,
  • the name of the registered training provider or advice that the training was in-house.
  • the duration of the training and
  • receipt of payment or if the training is in-house, the detail of the out of pocket expenses incurred.

Department of Health

 

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