COVID-19 Update

Published 24 June 2020

As the ongoing global health emergency regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) develops, IPA is taking proactive steps to protect our team, clients, casual workforce and community. Our response to this situation will be guided by the expert advice from Federal and State Governments and relevant health organisations. 

Open for business as ‘unusual’

IPA is fully operational and open for business as ‘unusual’ and experienced minimal disruptions during the transition. We are committed to providing our IPA community with timely and consistent information and support during these uncertain times.

JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme

Since the federal government announced the JobKeepr program, IPA has been closely monitoring whether or not we are eligible to participate on behalf of all our employees, including our on-hired workforce. 

Unfortunately IPA does not currently meet the eligibility criteria for the JobKeeper program. This means our employees and on-hired workforce will not be able to access JobKeeper payments through IPA. If our situation changes and we become eligible we will let them know, regardless if they’re currently working for us or not. 

We recommend all our on-hired employees who have had their work assignments finish or had their hours cut to visit the Services Australia website and register for JobSeeker. If an on-hired worker registers for JobSeeker then IPA becomes eligible for JobKeeper they will be able to move to JobKeeper payments. They must tell Services Australia if this happens so they can cancel their JobSeeker payments.

Work health and safety  

The health and safety of IPA employees is of upmost importance to IPA. As restrictions on community movement may relax over the coming weeks, it is vital to prepare our workplaces for ongoing pandemic management. 

We are in the final stages of completing tour Work Health & Safety Emergency Plan. It highlights the general ‘work, health and safety principles in a pandemic’ that were released by the National Cabinet.

Casual workforce working from home

IPA has established a work-from-home agreement and targeted health and safety training to enable, where possible, our on-hired staff (casual workforce) to work from home. These agreements and training are designed to ensure high levels of safety and productivity and will be provided to our casual workforce should a host employer make a request to work from home. For more information contact your dedicated IPA consultant. 

Safety first 

The safety of our IPA team members and casual workforce is our top priority. Therefore we have communicated internally and to our casual workforce the importance of social distancing and personal hygiene at work as directed by Federal and State Governments and their agencies. This includes:

• Stop shaking hands, hugging or kissing as a greeting.
• Keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres is kept between yourself and others at all times.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or using the toilet. 
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Click here for the full list of relevant information. 

Returning from overseas 

IPA communicated to all staff before the Government implemented mandatory quarantine for people returning from overseas. As per government requirements at the time, we instructed them to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return and to notify their IPA consultant Should they experience flu like symptoms or members of their immediate family or household experience fever and respiratory symptoms (including but not limited to cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, body aches or fatigue) we advised them to seek medical assistance.

Casual employees and leave entitlements 

Casual employees are entitled to two days unpaid sick or carer’s leave under the National Employment Standards. The Fair Work Commission recently inserted temporary measures in 99 Modern Awards to allow all employees to access 2 weeks of unpaid pandemic leave.  Here is further information about COVID-19 and employee entitlements and employee and employer responsibilities from the Fair Work Ombudsman website. 

Fair work Ombudsman

For information about workplace entitlements and responsibilities is regularly updated by the Fair Work Ombudsman website 

Government benefits

The Government has information about benefits available to Australians in times of need and you can find more information here on the Services Australia website

Mental health support during coronavirus

If you or someone you know is struggling with COVID-19 or any other matter, we encourage you to get support from your medical practitioner or a support agency.

Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Service 
24 hours a day 7 days a week
Dedicated phone line staffed by mental health professionals who have been briefed on the pandemic response. 
Call 1800 512 348 
Visit the Beyond Blue coronavirus the website.  

Beyond Blue 
24 hours a day 7 days a week
Call 1300 22 4636 
Visit the Beyond Blue website  

More information 

For the most up-to-date information please visit the Australian Government Department of Health website