The current circumstances with COVID-19 are fast-changing, uncertain and unprecedented. The changes can have implications for our health, safety and wellbeing and how we work.
In response to this, the Department has developed tailored and intensive support for the health, safety and wellbeing needs of its employees. The Department has a broad range of existing support services for its staff which will remain available and are being adapted to the current circumstances.
The Department has also developed and identified a broad range of resources and supports for employees and especially people managers for building and maintaining capability and productivity, HR-related activities, engagement and connection, and leadership during this time.
Please note, this page will be updated on a regular basis to ensure the Department responds to any developments.
The Department has also established an intranet page to provide current advice on the COVID-19. You can access the page on the Department's Current advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and working from home intranet page.
Managing your Health, Safety and wellbeing during COVID-19
Tailored support has been made available for all corporate staff to manage health, safety and wellbeing needs during COVID-19. Visit the COVID-19 Employee Health, Safety and Wellbeing Supports intranet page for more information on the services and support available to you during this time.
Working from Home
Due to health advice, If your role can be fulfilled at home, then you must move to working from home under arrangements agreed with your line manager. Staff who have already transitioned to WFH should not return to their workplace unless it is essential to do so.
The following quick reference guides are designed to support people with working from home arrangements:
- Working with Virtual Teams (WORD)
- Maintaining Motivation (WORD)
- Maintaining Motivation (WORD)
- Managing teams remotely - checklist (WORD)
- Managing teams remotely - guide (WORD)
- Respectful Workplaces for virtual teams (WORD)
For more information about working from home, explore the following on the Department's Current advice on COVID-19 and working from home intranet page:
eLearning and resources
The Working Flexibly collaboration site provides links to information and resources about working flexibly, including the Innovation Hub and eLearning modules offered by LinkedIn Learning and Gartner about:
- Working remotely
- Time management - working from home
- Understanding the manager's role in remote teams
- Leading at a distance
- Balancing work and life
- Managing Virtual teams
The Department has also curated:
- Working from Home learning paths in Linked in Learning (WORD)
Supporting staff with disability
Managers of staff with disability are encouraged to ensure that their team members have everything that they need to perform their job whilst working from home.
Encouraging employees with disability to discuss their needs with their managers is particularly important, remembering that not everyone with disability will have disclosed this at work or to their managers. Read more on the Department's Support for Staff with disability intranet site.
- 5 things managers can do right now to support staff with disability working remotely ( WORD)
- 5 things employees with disability can do to work remotely (WORD)
Supporting staff returning to work from extended leave
It's particularly important to consider how best to support staff returning to work from extended leave when they may be working from home, their key tasks may look different during this COVID period or their team may have new processes for communicating with each other. Read more on the Department's Supporting staff returning to work from extended leave intranet site.
Supporting staff with mental health conditions
For staff with pre-existing mental health conditions, this time can further heighten associated thoughts and behaviours. Previously managed symptoms can flare up, requiring additional care.
Additionally, with the current disruptions in support systems for many and the social isolation, staff with pre-existing mental health conditions are especially vulnerable.
It is important to know that it is okay to feel this way, and for those who are trying to support staff facing this, here are a few key messages from Duncan Chew, the Chair of the DET Enablers Network:
- listen without knowing – accept that people with disabilities and chronic health conditions have different experiences, so you don't need to be working out in your head what to say next or on your uncomfortable emotions
- listen without judging – let go of any biases, prejudice, or past experiences that block understanding of the needs of people with disability, so that you remain open and receptive to their individual needs
- listen without interrupting – let go of any self-interest or need for control so that people with disability can finish what they are saying.
The Enablers Network is an employee-led alliance that provides advice and peer support to colleagues across the Department with a disability or long-term health conditions.
For more information email email@example.com or visit the Enablers Network collaboration site on the Department's intranet.
Resources to assist with applying the Human Rights Charter to your work
In challenging times, it is worth remembering that the human rights frameworks were designed to see us through times like these.
The principles and values of human rights support and protect everyone in the community, especially those most vulnerable among us. When we act in accordance with the principles of human rights, we take extra steps to ensure the safety of these groups and prevent stigma, racism, discrimination and sexual harassment. You can access a range of tools and resources to assist you including guides, eLearning modules and conversation tools on the Department's Human Rights Charter intranet page.