Advice 3 - 23 March 2020

Employment arrangements and managing workforce situations in relation to coronavirus

This advice supplements previous advice of 9 and 16 March 2020.

Again, I remind employees to follow all health advice in relation to this situation. For more information, the Northern Territory Government has a dedicated website in relation to coronavirus .

Domestic Travel

On Saturday, 21 March 2020, the Northern Territory Government announced the implementation of new border restrictions and arrival requirements in response to the increasing threat of the coronavirus.

From 4.00pm on Tuesday, 24 March 2020, unless specifically exempted from this provision, people who arrive in the Northern Territory from interstate will be required to quarantine/self isolate for 14 days.

The employment arrangements applicable to affected employees will be consistent with those previously announced in relation to employees required to self-isolate as a consequence of overseas travel. These are described below.

Left NT after the announcement

Employees who leave the Northern Territory on personal interstate travel from the time of the Northern Territory Government announcement will need to use existing recreation leave entitlements for the period of their quarantine / self isolation on return to the Northern Territory. Employees will need to meet their own costs of quarantine in these circumstances.

Employees must therefore ensure that if they choose to travel interstate that they have sufficient available recreation leave to cover the 14 day period of quarantine upon return to the Northern Territory. If employees have insufficient leave entitlements they will be required to take leave without pay.

Left NT prior to the announcement

The following arrangements will apply to employees who departed on interstate travel prior to the Northern Territory Government’s announcement (21 March) and who are required to self-isolate for 14 days on their return to the Northern Territory:

  1. Employees may work from home if this is a viable option. The agency will work with affected employees in relation to these arrangements.
  2. Employees who are unable to work from home, will be provided with paid special leave for the period of the quarantine.
  3. These arrangements apply equally to rostered casual employees.
  4. Employees will need to provide appropriate documentary evidence (eg travel documents).

Parents and carers

We continue to monitor the situation and note that NT schools and childcare centres remain open. Accordingly, employees who choose to have their children home from schools will be required to take their own recreation leave or long service leave to provide care and support.

In circumstances where a child is ill or injured, or there is an unexpected emergency affecting the child, then employees who are required to provide care and support to their child may access their personal  leave in accordance with the normal arrangements set out in their enterprise agreement.

Employee Assistance Program

I remind you that all NTG employees and their immediate families have free access to counselling services through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Please make use of this if you are feeling concerned. There are eight providers to choose from:
* Darwin Consultant Psychologists - Phone: 1800 289 129

* Darwin Psychology Services – Phone: 1800 769 205

* EASA Inc. - Phone: 1800 193 123

* Industry Health Solutions – Phone: 1800 432 303

* Bereaved Parent Support NT & SIDS and Kids Northern Territory – Phone: 1800 875 182

* Solace Consulting Pty Ltd – Phone: 1800 001 061 (Only for Alice Springs region)

* Relationships Australia Northern Territory – Phone: 1300 364 277

* Wisemind Psychology Pty Ltd – Phone: 1800 166 180

For further information about EAP, please refer to the NTG Central – Across Government Contracts.

Further information

Employees who have specific circumstances and who require further advice should contact their manager or Human Resources to discuss their situation.

Enquiries related to this advice can be directed to covid19.enquiries@nt.gov.au .

This advice is as at 23 March 2020 based on the most up-to-date information available based on the current situation. The employment arrangements guidance relates to an ongoing situation and will be reviewed and redistributed if there are further developments.

Vicki Telfer PSM

Commissioner for Public Employment

Last updated: 30 April 2020

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