Ethnic Communities' Council of NSW 02) 93190288 [email protected]

Information from the Webinar held on 25/10/20 “Public Health Order for Mandatory Vaccinations for In-Home and Community Aged Care Workers”

The mandatory requirement came in on 25th October 2021 for HCP and CHSP aged care workers to have had two doses of the vaccine by 4 December 2021. Up till 25th October, 81.3% of CHSP workers have had their first dose, 68.7% their second dose. If you are an aged care worker you can contact your GP who will organise your vaccination within 7 days. There are many vaccination stations in all areas and to find out where or to discuss your concerns with the vaccination call 1800 020 080 option 4 where a dedicated aged care team are available to assist with your queries.

The Public Health Order (PHO) applies to volunteers, students on placement, contractors, MOW’s, garden services even if they don’t enter the client’s home because they are still providing a service. Administration and other staff who have no direct contact with the client are not under the PHO. The department was unable to answer if the Community Visitor Scheme was included in the PHO and took on notice, information will be updated on the website (Information from the webinar will be updated) https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/public-health-orders.aspx

Questions

  1. Can unvaccinated workers resume work after 1 December? Answer: the PHO is time-limited (3mths) however it is likely to be reordered. Workers with exemption certificates are exempt from the PHO.
  2. Who is included in the reporting of vaccinations on the portal? Answer: Anyone who is providing services to the client eg gardeners, carpet cleaners, care workers, contractors, sub-contractors, volunteers, students on placement.
  3. Why do I need to be vaccinated? Answer: Two doses provide excellent coverage from severe disease and death. First, it is protecting yourself and second for people you care for and the ones who can’t be vaccinated to help protect them.
  4. What about the vaccination of clients? Answer: This is not clear under the PHO, no view from the department. If clients in group sessions have issues it will be up to the provider to manage. Clients have a choice if they wish to attend.
  5. Why isn’t there a PHO for clients who aren’t vaccinated? Answer: PHO’s are rare mechanisms and only for Aged Care at the moment so PHO’s are used very sparingly.

Grant Funding will be available for costs related to the vaccinations eg staff on sick leave, attending vaccination, transport to get vaccinated, mandatory reporting into the portal.

HCP providers – other funding support available soon from $5,000 up to $48,000 per provider

Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) – the government stated there will be a process before approval in workplaces, a workplace strategy will be required. Consideration in scope for emergency funding. All Aged Care Providers in high-risk areas are able to have RAT as from 13 October 2021.

The Australian Government have a no-fault vaccination scheme. If workers are off sick for a period of time due to the vaccination from an approved vaccination program (not one-day sick leave), the claim will be assessed by an expert and there will be quick access to the money.

Workers can be stood down if not vaccinated by the timeline or can be transferred to administration (this would be up to the provider)

 

 

This update for the exchange hub was provided courtesy of:

  Christine Racar
  Policy & Project Officer
  T: (02) 4256 4333   mob 0428 428 512
  E: [email protected]
  W: communityindustrygroup.org.au