Tuesday, 17 March 2020

COVID-19 – Disability, Home Care, and Client Support Services

COVID-19 Update – March 2020 (PDF version)

Letter sent to ALL Disability Home Care and Client Support Service Providers in NSW

The COVID-19 epidemic presents an unprecedented challenge for business and government agencies in NSW, Australia and across the world. Your union has written to all Disability, Home Care, and Client Support Service providers seeking to be consulted on what contingency plans are being developed to support staff effected by COVID-19. In particular, provisions relating to how staff, including casuals, will be paid if:

  • They are excluded from workplace/placed in quarantine
  • Who have caring responsibilities or who have transport disruptions
  • The workplace is closed
  • If they exhaust sick leave because of COVID-19

NSW Health and Federal Department of Health Advice

In relation to health standards, the CPSU NSW has sought confirmation that current NSW Health and Federal Department of Health protocols are being adhered to. They can be viewed HERE and HERE.

NSW Health Guidelines for Aged Care Facilities

NSW Health has issued the following guidelines for aged-care facilities. The CPSU NSW recommends these Guidelines should apply as a bare minimum to residential facilities in Disability Home Care and Client Support Services. The Guidelines can be viewed HERE, and state the following:

 Key factors to consider when adapting emergency plans for COVID-19

  • Procedures to follow if an outbreak is suspected, including a method for seeking medical assessment and diagnosis.
  • Protocols to rapidly implement enhanced infection control measures1.
  • Ensuring adequate and appropriate care is provided to the infected individual including isolation of the client.
  • Maintaining adequate supplies of surgical gloves, masks, gowns and hand sanitiser.

Rapid notification for staff, families, carers, and your local public health unit.

  • General advice to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 and other respiratory outbreaks (e.g. influenza)
  • Discourage symptomatic visitors, even if minimal symptoms, from attending while unwell through communications and signage, and consider designating a single entrance for families and visitors.
  • Exclude sick staff members.
  • Encourage regular handwashing for residents, staff and visitors and provide hand sanitisers where this can be done safely.
  • Facilities should not have organized groups of children attend the facility at this time.

Monitor symptoms within the facility (residents and staff) and arrange testing as appropriate.

Join the CPSU NSW

Not a member? JOIN the CPSU NSW HERE.

Contact the CPSU NSW

Industrial Officers
Jessica Moore
Sharny Chalmers


Cora Sarmiento
Tony Hayes
Shane Elliott
Gino di Candilo