Residential OOHC Sector COVID-19 Emergency Staffing Options

ACWA, in collaboration with the Australian Service Union (ASU), the Department of Communities and Justice and the residential out-of-home care sector, has developed an emergency framework to enable residential care providers to safely continue delivering essential services to vulnerable children and young people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This initiative gives agencies more options, via new rostering arrangements, for dealing with the staffing challenges they are currently facing due to the increased workplace risks associated with the virus.

Under this arrangement, the following two model COVID-19 Individual Flexibility Agreements (IFAs), which have been jointly prepared by ACWA and the ASU, are available for implementation with local workforces, together with a Guideline outlining the principles that must underpin each agreement.

12-hour option Model COVID-19 IFA
(click here for an editable document)

24-hour option Model COVID-19 IFA
(click here for an editable document)

These model COVID-19 IFAs provide extended shift options (both 12 and 24-hour options), related entitlements and new allowances, which recognise the need for contact between clients and different employees working in residential care homes to be minimised, and the additional risks posed to employees’ safety and wellbeing during this period.

They have also been prepared to help employees and employers to more efficiently enter into local agreements by outlining standard terms and conditions which have been tailored to suit the residential care setting.

The supporting Guidelines contain jointly agreed principles for guiding the use of the model COVID-19 IFAs and outline the workplace safeguards and supports that should be in place before agreements are entered into with employees.

DCJ has released an updated COVID-19 Emergency Action - Payment Application Form, which aligns with the emergency staffing arrangements covered in the new Individual Flexibility Agreements, as well as the payment of other extraordinary additional costs incurred by service providers.

A fact sheet, checklist, and a flowchart are also available to further assist and provide guidance to service providers on the application, payment and reconciliation process.