COVID-19 Update

Published 11 September 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.

Work health and safety  

The health and safety of IPA employees is of upmost importance to IPA. We have responded quickly to ensure we meet all government requirements.  We have CovidSafe plans in place to manage our responsibilities

Stage 4 restrictions – Melbourne

These have been extended to the later of 28 September 2020 or where Melbourne has an average of 30-50 cases per day. 

There are limited reasons allowed for leaving your home:
> You may leave your home to obtain essential supplies 
> One person per household per day can leave home to shop
> You must limit exercise outside your home to one hour per day
> You must not leave your home between 8pm and 5am unless it is for medical care or permitted work
> Leaving home for work is allowed only in limited circumstances
> When you leave home, you must wear a face mask, including at work 
> You must not go to work if you are feeling unwell

Leaving home for work – you must have a work permit

From 6 August 2020, you may only leave home for work if you have been issued a permit.  

Current permits have a final date of 13 September 2020. These will be extended where appropriate and we will send to your email address on file.

> A work permit can only be issued if the workplace is allowed to remain open
> IPA has sent a work permit to all employees who are placed at a worksite that is allowed to operate onsite
> You must carry this permit with you at work and when travelling between work and home
> The permit shows your worksite and roster for the next 6 weeks.  
> We will issue you a new permit if your roster has significant changes.
> You can’t use the permit to travel outside home for other reasons.
> The permit can be stored on your phone but you must be able to display it if asked
> There are fines for not complying with the permit scheme – up to $1,652 for individuals

Childcare permits 

> You need a permit to be able to access childcare in metropolitan Melbourne under the extended Stage 4 restrictions
> You can only have this permit if you have a work permit
> If you need this, please contact your IPA consultant

Stage 3 restrictions – rest of Victoria

You may only leave home for four reasons:
> To shop for essential goods
> For work or study
> For exercise
> To get medical treatment or provide care for another
> You must wear a face covering when you leave home
> Even while wearing a face covering, you should keep at least 1.5 metres distance between yourself and others.

What support if is available if I can’t go to work?

> You may be eligible for a support payment of $300 if you are required to self-isolate while waiting for a test result. Find out more about the $300 support payment
> You may be eligible for a further support payment of $1,500 if you have been instructed by the Department of Health and Human Services to self-isolate or quarantine at home because you are either diagnosed with coronavirus or are a close contact of a confirmed case. Find out more about $1500 support payment.
> You may qualify for the JobSeeker scheme if you are unable to work. Find out more about JobSeeker
> IPA is not currently eligible for the JobKeeper scheme but we will advise tell you if this changes.

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. 

Industry. IPA status: Labour hire is permitted

The provision of labour hire is permitted for on-site work, provided it’s for the supply of an allowed workplace.  

IPA operations staff continue to work from home, with exceptions for work that cannot be performed from home. IPA consultants may visit other sites for the essential purpose of supporting the management of staff or ensuring work health and safety.

IPA has mapped each of our client’s operations against the Victorian Government’s directions on Stage 4 allowable industries. We understand this is dynamic and we will revise regularly. 

Our staff have contacted clients for confirmation on their status.

COVID-19 Safe Plan (Stage 4 restrictions)

All workplaces that are permitted to continue on-site operations from 11:59pm 5 August 2020 are required to have a COVID-19 Safe plan in place, which must be updated for Stage 4 restrictions by 11:59pm Friday 7 August 2020. Certain industries are required to develop a high-risk COVID-19 Safe plan. 

We have reviewed our COVID-19 Safe plan and have updated the plan to ensure it meets the requirements of plans under Stage 4 restrictions.

We will work with you to ensure we meet our shared responsibility for work health and safety as we come out of Stage 4 restrictions. 

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. 

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