In response to questions received, here's an explanation of the leave situation for staff unable to go to work as normal because of the pandemic response.

 

Guidance on Injury/Illness Leave

If you are currently on injury leave, sick leave or light duties, here's how the current situation will affect you, and what leave you will be placed on.

Current Personnel on Injury leave

  • If you are on work accident or non-work accident injury leave, you will continue to receive your weekly compensation entitlements as per your medical certificates – i.e. if you are currently certified for light work, you  will remain on 100% average earnings, as detailed in the agreed timelines outlined in your rehabilitation plan.
  • If you are currently on return to work duties (light duties), you should continue to do these duties from home where reasonable and practicable.
  • Submit timesheets as normal, even if you can't practicably carry out your return to work duties – indicate on your timesheet “unable to complete return to work duties due to COVID-19”

Current Personnel on Illness/Sick leave

  • If you are currently on return to work duties sick leave, you should continue to do these duties from home where reasonable and practicable.  You should remain on return to work duties sick leave.
  • If you are currently on full sick leave, you will continue on sick leave until fit for work, or cleared for return to work duties according to the standard process.
  • When you are medically cleared to be back at work, then you are deemed fully fit to return.
  • If your case is currently under management, you will continue to receive support through the Injury Management Unit team. If you need more clarification, discuss it with your line manager.

If you are disadvantaged by delays in getting clearance for return to work duties because of the current COVID-19 situation, and you would clearly have had clearance earlier, or would have received management sign-off earlier, but that wasn't available due to other more pressing matters, we will sort the effective date of change in pay relating to return to work duties clearance on a case-by-case basis.

Future Injury/Illness

  • If you need require assistance from the Injury Management Unit following an injury or illness during the COVID-19 pandemic, follow standard process.
  • If you are cleared for light duties that are not currently available due to the workplace limitations of COVID-19, you will be treated as if on light duties and paid accordingly.

Leave

If you and then
become sick with COVID-19 related symptoms you have sought medical advice

Let your manager know immediately and do not come to work. You will be placed on sick leave. Stay home until your receive a negative COVID-19 test, and you are symptom-free.

it is confirmed by health officials as COVID-19
  • Update your manager immediately
  • Your doctor or a health professional will be in contact with you. You will need to provide details of where you have been recently, and who you have seen.
  • You will only be able to return to work when you have been cleared by your GP.
  • The isolation period for fully vaccinated COVID-19 cases in the community is at least 10 days, including 72 hours symptom-free.
  • The isolation period for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated COVID-19 cases is at least 14 days, including 72 hours symptom-free.
  • Others in the household will need to remain at home while you and anyone else in your household who tests positive are isolating. Once the last case has been released from isolation, the remaining members of the household will have to isolate for a further 10 days. This means they will need to isolate for longer than you.
you run out of sick leave

Your manager will follow Fire and Emergency's standard procedures for when staff run out of sick leave.

are in self-isloation because you have been advised by health officials you can't work from home Let your manager know immediately, you will be placed on special leave for the self-isolation period. The self-isolation period is seven days for fully vaccinated people and 14 days for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated people.

 

you become sick while in self-isolation, Update your manager, you will be moved from special leave to sick leave (if this is COVID-19 related, refer to above scenario)
have someone sick at home with COVID-19 symptoms, but no known exposure, and they are awaiting a COVID-19 test   you are well, with no symptoms, and have received no advice from Health Officials  You are safe to continue to work, however, if you become unwell with COVID-19 symptoms, let your manager know immediately and do not come to work, you will be placed on sick leave. Seek medical advice through Healthline or go to your GP.

have someone sick at home with COVID-19 symptoms, AND there is a link to a high risk area (for example close contact or family member works at MIQ, Ports, Customs, or is linked to a current cluster), and they are awaiting a COVID-19 test (or results)

This includes if you, or your household contact, has been vaccinated.

you are well, with no symptoms, and no advice from Health Officials Let your manager know immediately, you will be placed on special leave while you await advice from Health Officials (or a negative COVID-19 test result of the person at home), at which point you would return to work. If it was a positive COVID-19 test result, refer to the scenario at the top of the table.
have someone at home diagnosed with COVID-19 you are well with no symptoms

Let your manager know immediately, you will be placed on special leave or, an informal working from home arrangement will be agreed.

You and others in the household will need to remain at home while the person in your household who tests positive is isolating. Once the person/s who tests positive has been released from isolation, the remaining members of the household will have to isolate for a further 10 days. This means you will need to isolate for longer than them.

 are on annual leave become sick during that time
  • You will be placed on sick leave for the period you are sick, and any annual leave booked during that time will be re-credited, using the standard leave process applicable e.g. pro rata days for operational staff, or simply adding annual leave days lost back for non-operational staff.
  • Seek medical advice through Healthline or your GP. Please advise them if you are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms for them to assess any COVID-19 testing requirements.
 are on annual leave are required to go into self-isolation as advised by health officials during that time
  • You will be placed on special leave for your self-isolation period, and any annual leave booked during that time will be re-credited, using the standard leave process applicable e.g. pro rata days for operational staff, or simply adding annual leave days lost back for non - operational staff.

  • Your annual leave will not resume after the period of self-isolation, unless it still had time to run to the originally scheduled return date.

are on annual leave

the traffic light colour changes

(the Covid-19 Protection Framework setting changes)

  • You are able to choose whether to continue with annual leave or, if you are able to work remotely,  then you may work and get this leave reversed in the system. Please discuss with your manager.
  • Special Leave is for employees who are unable to work remotely (noting that staff able to work remotely are expected to take their laptop home each evening).
  • Rostered annual leave for operational firefighters will continue to apply as per the CEA.
if you travel to a Quarantine Free Travel country on annual leave,  you are required to go into managed isolation on return
  • If you cannot work from managed isolation, you will have to use annual leave, or make arangements for leave without pay. Special leave will not be used.
  • Your travel to Quarantine Free Travel countries is at your own risk, and you should be prepared to carry the cost of managed isolation if the travel bubble is disrupted.
are feeling unwell after your COVID-19 vaccination

you experience a reaction(external link) that your GP/health provider would not consider normal

  • Seek medical advice through your GP or Healthline. They will provide advice on the best way to manage your symptoms and confirm any other steps that may be required.
  • Where the criteria of injury treatment is met, our normal injury assessment processes would be triggered.

Any questions, please discuss with your HR Manager.

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