*UPDATED* Wednesday 12 January 2022
With the Tasmanian border open, information on the COVID-19 case and outbreak management (for business and organisations) has been made available with further resources, including outbreak management plan templates, accessible via the Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.
If you don’t already have a formal business continuity plan in place, or you need to update it, the COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework provided by WorkSafe Tasmania is a great place to start. You can also download a general business continuity checklist for community service organisations (Word, 172KB).
Organisations will be expected to continue to undertake cleaning and disinfecting to reduce any residual risk of infection. Moreover, staff, volunteers and clients will need to follow the isolation and quarantine guidelines. The Tasmanian Government’s quarantine and isolation directions outlines the requirements for testing, quarantine and isolation in the event of a positive COVID-19 case or if you are a close contact.
Importantly, the Tasmanian Government will continue to offer Pandemic Isolation Grants to eligible residents who lose income if they need to isolate.
The Commonwealth Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is also available for eligible Tasmanians if they can’t earn an income because they must self-isolate or quarantine, or are caring for someone with COVID-19 in accordance with the Public Health advice.
TasCOSS has also compiled answers to FAQs provided by the Department of Health and a range of vaccination policy templates and resources below.
Vaccination Policy and Business Strategy and Continuity Templates
COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccinations Policy template for organisations bound by the Tasmanian Government issued Health Directives, which requires all health care workers or those who work in health care settings to be vaccinated against COVID-19:
COVID-19 Vaccination Policy template for organisations not bound by the Public Health Order:
Proforma letter to employees re COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccinations Policy:
Business Continuity Checklist for community service organisations:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Please note: the following responses were provided to TasCOSS by the Department of Health.
Business Continuity and Vaccine Mandate Questions:
Additional Questions re Interpretation and Implementation of the Public Health Direction:
Some community-based services will have social workers and psychologists in the same team as, for example, youth workers with qualifications in Education or Community Services (Diploma) or a Bachelor of Youth Work. When working in the same community-based team, are the allied health professionals listed under the Public Health Direction required to be vaccinated while the other staff aren’t as their qualifications aren’t listed?
In this case, the service would qualify as a “health and medical facility” due to the psychologists regularly working there, which means that all workers at that facility would be captured.
What happens when a staff member doesn’t comply with the Public Health Direction? What are the industrial relations issues and implications for employers and employees?
Under the Public Health Direction, both workers and facilities have obligations (and thus, both may potentially be in breach). That is distinct from industrial issues that may emerge from this requirement. The Department of Health cannot provide advice on industrial issues, please refer to the Fair Work website in the first instance (COVID-19 vaccinations: Workplace rights and obligations).
TasCOSS are aware the ever-changing COVID-19 environment in Tasmania will present a number of challenges in the months ahead. As always, please get in touch with a member of the TasCOSS team if you would like to discuss vaccination requirements or outbreak management planning in more detail.
The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) are able to provide free advice on managing issues around workplace compliance and employment-related requirements. You do not need to be a TCCI member to access this service, which is provided in addition to free work health and safety support and advice from WorkCover Tasmania.
You can call the TCCI Workplace Advice Business Hotline on 1300 559 112 or email email@example.com.
The TCCI have also provided a COVID-19 vaccination guide to help businesses navigate the ever-changing landscape.