We have been working very hard to ensure the safety and security of everyone in our sites while continuing to provide these very important services. It is with this in mind that we have made some decisions about our services.
For all the details on our latest service impacts, please click on the below links:
It’s been another big week. I know COVID-19 is placing an enormous amount of stress on everyone, please know that we will get through this together.
I have more important service changes to share with you today, this time relating to the home portfolio.
On Sunday 29 March 2020, the government announced further actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 to save lives. This included the requirement for vulnerable people (older Australians and those with chronic medical conditions) to self-isolate.
In response to this protective measure, we have identified that approximately 75% of our supported accommodation have residents who are 55 years or older, or have people live with a chronic medical condition. To support enacting the Government recommendations, we will be introducing a Staying in Place program.
Staying in Place means we are supporting people to stay at home and away from all situations where the COVID-19 virus might spread easily.Staying in Place will commence at 5pm, Sunday 5 April and is a temporary response to COVID-19.
Additionally, we have decided not to increase the Residential Accommodation (Rent) or Board charges which would usually occur this month for our customers. We hope this will help ease the financial impact COVID-19 is placing on many of our families and customers at this time.
A number of tools and resources have been developed to support our staff and customers during this transition available here:
With so much change in the industry, there may be some requests from media outlets to our local sites for comment. Just a reminder to forward all requests from media to our Media Advisor Ash Moore email@example.com or 0472 809 503 as per the normal process, and please don’t respond to these queries yourself.
You are all doing an incredible job, thank you.
Chief Executive Officer
02nd April – Staying in Place
Staying in Place means we are supporting people to stay at home and away from all situations where the COVID-19 virus might spread easily.
In response to this protective measure, and to assure you we are acting in the best interest of people living in Accommodation Services, 75% of homes will act a Staying in Place measure where residents are 55 years or older, or where people live with a chronic medical condition.
Staying in place will commence at 5pm, Sunday 5 April and is a temporary response to COVID-19.
01st April – Suspending work for all supported employees
After very careful consideration, Endeavour Foundation has decided to take unprecedented measures in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis by temporarily:
- suspending work for all supported employees; and
- closing all sites except for Keon Park, Seven Hills, Oakleigh, Maroochydore, Wacol and Mt Druitt.
These decisions are effective Monday 6th April.
27th March – Keon Park and Kew reopen
We have resumed operations on Monday 30th March at our Keon Park and Kew sites.
Due to a staff member who is unwell and being tested for Covid-19, we have decided to shut down two of our Business Solutions sites at Keon Park and Kew for a 24-hour period on Friday 27 March.
This will allow us the ability to do a full sanitation clean of the site.
Learning and Lifestyle (L&L) centres – Temporarily closing
As we follow public health guidelines to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are making changes to the way we operate for the safety of people we support. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close all our Learning and Lifestyle (L&L) centres in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria until further notice. The last day of operation will be Friday 27 March 2020.
- Familiarise yourself with the latest service changes here.
- Updating your contact details in PeopleSoft – Are your contact details up to date in PeopleSoft? We need to make sure we have your correct mobile number as a priority. If you’re unsure of how to update your contact details, please find the information here.
- Best practice infection prevention training for frontline staff – DSC has put out a free 20 minute eLearning module for support workers to understand best practice infection prevention when supporting people with disability, which can be accessed here.
- Social distancing includes ways to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. It means less contact between you and other people. The government’s advice on social distancing is here:
The Australian Government announced that all travellers to Australia will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. If you, another staff member, or anyone else you know has returned from overseas, you will need to stay at home. There are large fines for those who do not.
If anyone does need to self-isolate, Qld Health has instructions here.
Flu Vaccination Program – Reminder
To prepare for the flu season, we are offering FREE flu vaccinations to all Endeavour Foundation and subsidiary staff, Supported Employees, Apprentices and Trainees.
Flu vaccinations are one of the best lines of defence against the flu.
- Book a flu shot with your GP or local chemist.
- Retain your receipt so Endeavour Foundation can reimburse you to the value of $13.00
- Seek reimbursement from your Manager or Supervisor through petty cash.
- Managers and Supervisors must capture the person’s name and reason for reimbursement and apply DAX 99250P / WHSAF / ZADMIN / PCOP / PEO and Account code 572120.
Support Hotline opens for vulnerable Queenslanders in COVID-19 quarantine
The Minister for Communities and the Minister for Disability Services and Seniors announced a new hotline has been activated in QLD to support people who have been advised to quarantine at home.
The Community Recovery Hotline (1800 173 349) will work with partner organisations to arrange non-contact delivery of essential food and medication to people who have no other means of support.
Coronavirus hotline – 1800 983 006
It is free and nurses are available 24/7 to take your call.
Benestar Employee Assistance Program
Benestar is Endeavour Foundation’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider and they are enlisted by Endeavour Foundation to help, listen, and provide advice to you. If you need support, please reach out to Benestar – they are here for you.
Endeavour Foundation Coronavirus response team – firstname.lastname@example.org
Latest government information – www.health.gov.au
Rostering – 1800 800 585
Complex Support Hub – Ph. 0417 472 454 or PBSImplementation@endeavour.com.au
Compliance requirements – work attendance
20th March 2020
It is critical that all staff comply with our COVID-19 related controls when considering attending work. If you feel unwell, have returned from an overseas trip or have been in contact with someone who has a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case, stay home and self-isolate.
You will need to seek medical or senior leadership clearance before returning.
Return to work – Senior Leader clearance requirements
As an update to our return to work policy, all staff members are required to complete the Senior Leader Clearance document when considering a return to work without medical clearance during the COVID-19 outbreak.
A Senior Leader Clearance is only applicable to employees in the following circumstances:
- Having flu like symptoms and are no longer symptomatic
- NO flu like symptoms but have International travel restrictions and have met the Governments self-isolation guidelines.
- NO flu like symptoms but have had contact with confirmed case of COVID-19 and have met the Governments self-isolation guidelines.
A Senior Leader Clearance is not sufficient:
- If an employee has been sent for Covid-19 testing and received a positive result
- Or have been sent for Covid-19 testing and received a negative result
Any employee having been tested for Covid-19 will require a medical clearance from a health professional prior to returning to work
Endeavour Foundation Group (including Community Solutions Group) is facing unprecedented times as we navigate through the continuously evolving COVID-19 situation.
Our first priority during this challenging time is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees and customers. Given the scale and complexity of this situation, we have developed a range of additional measures to support our teams’ wellbeing and financial sustainability during this period. We are pleased to announce the following additional offerings, in addition to our industrial obligations, to allow our employees to be in their best position when faced with absences experienced as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak:
- Allocated personal leave balances can be used to cover sick leave or carer’s leave when related to COVID-19.
- We will allow you to accrue up to ten (10) days’ negative annual leave (prorata) to extend paid coverage due to COVID-19 absences where all available leave entitlements are utilized.
- Please be mindful that if you choose to take this option, should you leave the organization prior to accruing a positive balance, you will be required to repay the outstanding balance from your final payment.
- Additional financial hardship support of up to ten (10) further days’ (prorata) paid special leave may be available to cover COVID-19 absences where all leave entitlements and the 10 days’ accrued negative annual leave are exhausted (assessed on a case-by-case basis, as approved by Endeavour)
- Casual employees may be entitled to up to ten (10) days’ additional paid special leave (prorata) due to COVID-19 absences. There are a broad variety of scenarios which our employees may encounter during the coming months. First and foremost, we want to assure people that Endeavour Foundation is here to support you. Specific guidance on a number of example scenarios where the above additional entitlements may apply are outlined in the attached guide. All additional measures and examples are accurate per current legislative conditions but may change with future Government policy decisions. You can check your current personal and annual leave balances via your Peoplesoft Employee Self Service portal on our intranet to confirm your current leave status.
Staff sickness out of hours
If you or a staff member are unwell, please call the COVID hotline or your local GP in this first instance. Do not attend your GP, hospital or any other face to face medical setting, without calling ahead first. Please let your line manager know you are unwell and stay at home.
Cancel/postpone all non-essential visitors
We are cancelling all non-essential visitors to all EF sites for the foreseeable future. This means all non-essential meetings should be cancelled, school trips, site tours and any other events that are planned both on site and off site. This also includes all visitors to residential properties, even family, at the moment.
Onboarding of new customers
We are using all our people power to manager COVID-19 response right now, so we will not be onboarding any new customers until further notice.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
There’s been some positive developments in regards to sourcing PPE for our services for use in the event of an emergency, and more stock is on its way.
Emergency PPE packs have been distributed to regional hubs including Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Bokarina and Gold Coast. We have limited items available and stocks will be distributed locally as a response to emergencies only. Operations Managers will manage these stocks and distribute to sites as required as quickly as possible.
A reminder that all sites are required to maintain suitable levels of PPE through the usual stock purchase process with procurement. Visit Office Stationary for details.
Appropriate use of PPE
The advice from the Department of Health and the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission states that there is no need for disability or health workers to wear surgical masks unless you are working directly with customers who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. If you are working with people with disability, continue to practise good hygiene – wearing gloves where required, washing your hands frequently and so on.
If a case of COVID-19 is suspected by a medical professional, workers will need to practise further infection control measures including use of appropriate PPE.
In the context of NDIS supports and services, where a case of COVID-19 is suspected by a medical professional, PPE may be required in settings where:
- Supports being provided are essential to the participant’s life, health of safety due to withdrawal or alteration of critical supports;
- Contact between people exceeds Department of Health guidelines for social distancing or isolation; or
- There are heightened risks to people with disability due to their vulnerabilities.
These situations may arise in supported living arrangements, or where essential supports are provided to a person in their own home.
Safety Bulletin 123 – Information on the use of surgical masks
We’ve had a number of questions from our people in regards to the requirement to wear a surgical mask within the workplace, see the answers here.
Extra cleaning and handwashing
It goes without saying we all need to have an increased vigilance around cleanliness, handwashing and basic hygiene measures throughout COVID.
- Ensure all common and frequently handled surfaces are diligently and regularly cleaned using appropriate anti-bacterial cleaning materials.
- Regular handwashing greatly helps in the reduction of transmission.
- We have resources available on the Intranet including a handwashing video and poster.
- Easy read guides on COVID and handwashing are also available on the Intranet and have been sent to families.
Suspected COVID-19 Cleaning Requirements
If you have a suspected COVID-19 case within your service, cleaning will be required to prevent the spread of the virus amongst customers and staff.
To request a professional clean of your site, you’ll need to log a request through MEX.
- Raise a MEX Works Request against the property address and indicate the nominated Service Delivery Manager.
- Contact the respective Regional Asset Manager and inform them of the details.
- Glenn Tadman; Mobile: 0429 968 851 (Brisbane Metro, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Stanthorpe, Warwick, Caboolture.)
- Simon Northey; Mobile 0428 116 170 (All sites north of Caboolture, including Kingaroy & Roma)
- Penelope Irish; Mobile 0417 116 413 (VIC & NSW all sites)
- The Regional Asset Manager will organise and liaise with the nominated manager. We expect the clean to be completed within 12 and 48 hours depending on availability of contractors.
Whilst waiting for the professional clean to be booked and completed, site staff are required to immediately undertake a disinfectant clean of all surfaces and touch points.
RiskMan – logging COVID-19 related incidents
All COVID-19 related incidents need to be logged in RiskMan and a dedicated subclass has now been created.
Reporting and recording COVID-19 Incidents in a timely manner is a critical component of tracking, isolating and controlling risk to ensure the health and safety of our customers and employees. Riskman guide.
The NDIS has a disaster recovery response page with all their specific updates around COVID-19 and how it impacts on planning meetings, as well as resources for participants
With rapidly changing advice being provided by Centrelink, banking institutions and Government departments, we’ve pulled together a list of resources to help you find information should you require it.
A number of Australia’s major banks will be allowing home loan customers to defer their home loan repayments for up to six months. You’ll need to apply through your home loan provider.
At the time of writing this, the Residential Tenancy Agency (RTA) had not received advice from the State or Federal Government that financial relief or legislative changes has been announced. Please refer to this website for more information about rental payments during COVID-19.
Essential services such as early childhood education and care (while it is safe to do so) currently remain open. Additional child care subsidies (ACCS) may be available for those who are eligible which means you can receive up to 13 weeks of subsidies towards your child care fees. Find out more through MyGov.
Medibank (Health Insurance Partner for Endeavour Foundation)
Medibank has released an update around member support and COVID-19 with additional benefits for members related to COVID-19 and options to suspend policy payments through their financial hardship policy. Email email@example.com if you have any questions.
There have been a number of new supports offered for people and families affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime Minister has recently announced changes to the income test for people wishing to access the JobSeeker payment, meaning their partners could earn almost $80,000 a year and they would still be eligible for the payment.
For more information on financial support that may be available to you, click here.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Disability Reform Council announced yesterday of their imminent priorities in light of COVID-19.
They are aware that the health and safety of participants, providers, paid and unpaid carers is a key concern for everyone in the sector.
The Council agreed on the following priorities:
- Ensure appropriate consideration is given to people with disability and the disability services sector in the health response, including access to telehealth, infection control training and personal protective equipment.
- Ensure the ongoing delivery of core NDIA service delivery as part of the NDIA’s Pandemic Plan, including the shift from face-to-face planning to telephone planning, and the redirecting of NDIA staff and partners to priority service delivery roles that support participants in response to COVID-19.
- Ensure the continuation of services to NDIS participants through the extension and increased flexibility of NDIS plans where necessary so that the NDIA can focus on reviewing plans that may require amendment in response to the impact of COVID-19.
- Ensure appropriate plans are in place to respond to any workforce shortages that may arise as a result of COVID-19.
- Ensure providers are supported to remain viable during the period of impact of COVID-19 and beyond.
Basically, this means they are aware of the array of issues that are being faced by participants, families, service providers, frontline workers as a result of COVID-19 and we expect to hear positive news regarding these items soon. These will be communicated via the NDIS and we will also keep you posted.
- Frequently Asked Questions about Coronavirus