Given its rapid spread, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) a pandemic.
Many members have recently contacted LGIS seeking information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the issues they need to consider.
In the first instance the WA Department of Health is the primary point of information regarding the COVID-19 response in WA.
In general members should ensure
- That staff are aware of and maintain hygienic practices as advised by the Department of Health.
- Follow advice from the Department of Health with regards to travel restrictions and isolation on return (depending on your location).
- That if feeling unwell staff present to their nearest COVID-19 clinic or GP and follow their advice.
- Staff should notify their employer if they are diagnosed with the illness.
- They are aware of and follow WA Department of Health policies with regards to exposure to transmittable illnesses.
For the latest information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) please refer to the Australian and West Australian Departments of Health. They have also produced some excellent resources for employers and their staff. Click on the links below for resources and the latest information:
Department of Health (Australian Government)
This health alert is updated daily with the latest medical advice and official reports.
A collection of resources for the general public, employers, international travellers, health professionals and industry about coronavirus (COVID-19). Resources are available in a variety of different languages including Chinese, Farsi, Italian and Korean.
Department of Health (Western Australia)
Western Australia is working closely with the Commonwealth and state and territory jurisdictional governments to respond appropriately to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
This is a rapidly changing situation. Updates will be provided as any new information becomes available. Please visit the Department of Health page regularly to ensure the information you have is up to date.
Member questions asnwered by our local government experts. THis list will continue to grow as more articles are published:
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- Managing stress and anxiety during COVID-19
- Providing a mentally healthy workplace during COVID-19
- Managing a remote workforce
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- WorkCare FAQs - Claimant questions answered
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- Eight ways to protect against phishing scams while working from home
- Working from home - a guide for employers
- A thrivers guide to maintaining positive mental health
- LGIS Services continue during COVID-19 disruption
- Working from home, getting your head in the game
Health & Wellbeing funding
The Health & Wellbeing (H&W) program will be impacted by the current situation. With many local government staff now working from home and reductions in gatherings it may be difficult to access some of the services funded by the program.
In recognition of the evolving COVID-19 situation LGIS has decided to extend the availability of the H&W funding for an additional three (3) months to now expire on 30 September 2020.
LGIS H&W providers continue to offer services and are committed to maintaining the highest standard of service delivery, whilst assuring the health of staff, as well as their teams remains the top priority.
If you have any queries please contact WorkCare Srevices Manager, Renee Wockner at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0427 617 646.
Members have enquired about the 2020 flu vaccine which is available as part of the LGIS health and wellbeing program. The flu vaccination will provide no novel coronavirus protection; however, it remains the best way to protect your staff against many strains of influenza.
The 2020 flu vaccine will be released mid-April.
LGIS has recieved queries relating to COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus. The main query is whether workers would be entitled to compensation in WA if the disease is contracted at work.
WorkCover WA has advised that in order for any worker to be eligible for compensation a disease must have been contracted in the course of employment and the employment must have been a significant contributing factor to the contraction of the disease.
In relation to COVID-19 where exposure can occur in public settings questions may arise as to the exact time and place of contracting the virus. As a result, it may be difficult to determine that employment was a significant contributing factor.
Each claim would be considered on its individual merits, having regard to the individual circumstances and evidence of each claim. Please contact your LGIS WorkCare Claims Manager if you would like more information.
At 6am (WST) on 18 March 2020, Smartraveller issued a 'do not travel overseas at this time' advice to all Australians, the highest advice level (level 4 of 4).
As a result, if a travel cancellation or disruption loss does occur, you should first please contact your travel agent or the airline (before submitting a claim) to seek a refund or make alternate travel arrangements based on existing tickets. After this, if you still have a loss, you may wish to submit a claim along with the original and amended itineraries and relevant documents to substantiate your remaining loss. Each claim will be investigated and assessed in accordance with the terms, conditions, exclusions and limits of your Corporate Travel policy.
It is currently uncertain when COVID-19 will be contained, when the Australian Government's travel advice will be updated, and when airlines and other businesses will return to normal operation. Members that have travel plans more than four (4) weeks away may wish to delay cancelling their travel until it is less than four (4) weeks away in case the travel situation improves. If the position on travel improves but you still does not wish to travel, such as when the Australian Government's travel advice is reduced in severity, the insurer may consider any cancellation of this travel to be a disinclination to travel, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.
The short term LGIS counselling service is available to all staff of LGIS members for support on a wide variety of work and personal issues. If individuals are stressed or anxious about the impact of the novel coronavirus they can access the LGIS counselling service.
Local governments have a significant role to play in the West Australian response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The sector is the most connected to their local community and in times of stress they are relied upon to continue vital services, such as waste management, and support community resilience.
While many members plan for emergency situations that impact business continuity, they may not be prepared for potential prolonged impacts on staff welfare, operations, supply chains, and the broader economy arising from a globally-spreading infectious disease. Members should review their resilience and crisis response strategies and plans so that they are well prepared for the potential impacts of the novel coronavirus.
LGIS can support you in reviewing your business continuity plan contact Senior Risk Consultant, Michael Sparks on tel: 9483 8820, mb: 0417 331 514 or email email@example.com for more information.
How LGIS can support you:
LGIS has a range of Scheme and non-Scheme services to assist members. Our expert local government consultants are only a phone call away to discuss your novel coronavirus concerns. We can assist in the following areas:
- Business continuity planning
- Your cover
- Counselling service
- Flu vaccinations
Contact us on 9483 8888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org