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COVID-19 update from Department for Education

18 November 2020

We received this information from the Department for Education on 18 November at 5.30 pm:

Working arrangements

The direction today is for South Australian public servants only to attend the workplace for minimum government operations.

For schools, preschools and early childhood settings, you are a critical essential service. This means that on-site will be skeleton staff for essential worker children and vulnerable students who need to attend.

Site leaders will work with their teams to identify volunteers to attend on-site, being a minimum of 2 people.

If sites have more students arrive than planned for tomorrow, they will locally organise for additional team members to attend. In the event that a school or preschool is unable to manage locally, site leaders should contact their Senior HR Business Partner for support.

For corporate divisions, all worksites (ie 31 Flinders Street, EDC, Education Support Hub, regional offices), will be working from home with very limited exceptions.

Executive Directors have identified a very limited number of people who need to attend the worksite to provide support to the system, for example the Distribution Centre and the COVID Hotline team. These people have been spoken with by their leader and know who they are.

Pay arrangements

Schools and Preschools

Tomorrow and Friday are school closure days, with the exception of essential worker children and vulnerable students.  Those attending on-site will be paid as normal, all other teachers will be on an authorised absence and site-based ancillary staff will be on COVID Special Leave with Pay.

Monday and Tuesday are pupil free days, with the exception of essential worker children and vulnerable students. With the exception of those attending on-site, all other staff will be working from home. In the event that site based employee’s normal duties aren’t possible from home and alternative duties can’t be made available, those employees will be on COVID Special Leave with Pay.

Corporate divisions

From tomorrow, with the exceptions above, all staff across corporate divisions will be working from home. In the event that a corporate employee’s normal duties aren’t possible from home and alternative duties can’t be made available, those employees will be on COVID Special Leave with Pay. Please discuss with your line manager if you need clarity about working from home.

COVID Special Leave with Pay

Refer here for full information on EDi about when you can access COVID Special Leave with Pay.

To apply for COVID Special Leave with Pay please use this form.

Access to COVID-19 Special Leave with Pay has been reset to 15 days for all employees. Vulnerable employees can access this leave before using their own personal leave.

Masks

The Distribution Centre is currently dispatching masks to all schools and preschools and to 31 Flinders Street for the people who are performing essential services from the workplace.

We will clarify with SA Health as to whether students are required to wear masks in school settings.

Cancelled shifts for casual employees, including temporary relief teachers

Where a temporary or casual employee had a rostered or pre-booked shift that is now cancelled due to the site no longer requiring them then they are to be paid as they would have if they worked the shift.

The process for payment is the same as for a TRT that completed the booking however with a specific COVID-19 code to be applied in HRS.

An alert has been added into HRS to help in applying the code. If sites need assistance they can contact the department’s COVID-19 Information Line on 8226 2000 (8am to 5pm).

Wellbeing

Maintaining your wellbeing at this time of uncertainty is very important.

Worry and feelings of unease are natural and expected during stressful events like the current COVID-19 pandemic. We have a range of information on EDi to assist you through this period.

Remember, the Employee Assistance Program is available if you need professional support during this period.

More information

If you have any questions please call the department’s COVID-19 Information Line on 8226 2000 (8am to 5pm). If the team doesn’t know the answer to your question, they will follow it up and get back to you.

Information is also available on the department’s dedicated EDi COVID-19 pages.

You can also call the government’s coronavirus health information line on 1800 020 080.