Your safety in the Department of Communities

Posted on April 1, 2020

We are hearing from members across the state that requests to work more safely during the COVID-19 pandemic are being ignored or denied. This is simply not good enough and delegates have been raising your concerns with the Department; however, we will be seeking to escalate these concerns as they are not being addressed quickly or well enough.

If you are in a high-risk category or have medical advice to self-isolate and your requests have not been approved, please let us know ASAP by emailing – and please remember, if you have advice from your doctor to not be at work, you should be acting on that advice.

For AS&RS members, there are significant concerns and specific challenges around clients continuing to be out in the community and the increased risk that carries. We understand that the Department will be putting in place some practice guidelines to assist with shopping and banking, but it is not enough to allay real and serious concerns for your safety and that of your clients.

For other DCDSS employees, it has been deeply frustrating to see the Department not take the clear advice from state and federal governments that if you can work from home, you should.

The Department's response so far has been inadequate and slow, and we will continue to escalate these issues until your health and safety, and that of the clients that you work with, is better addressed.

In the interim, here is a fact sheet about different types of leave during this pandemic, and we have created a hub of information regarding COVID-19 on our website.

As always, if you have any specific questions please do not hesitate to contact us – we are meeting with the Department at least once a week and raising questions in between.

1800 177 244