Employee Updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
With staff all currently working from home, we recommend that you regularly check in with your line manager if you have questions, and adhere to the self-ilsolation advice from the NSW Government
Regularly check advice from the NSW Government here
We would like to ask that you read carefully and act on the recommendations listed below when needed. We know that with good management we can limit the spread of COVID-19. It is up to all of us to take every precaution, manage our own health and ensure we don’t risk the health of others who may be more vulnerable.
The information below outlines important things for you to know in relation to our workplace and management of COVID-19.
If you are currently at risk because you have a chronic condition, are immune compromised or included in the list below, please consider your health management plans and, as necessary, speak with your manager about your need to work from home.
People at most risk of serious infection are:
- people with compromised immune systems, such as people with cancer
- elderly people
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- very young children and babies, and
- people with diagnosed chronic medical conditions.
Read the explainer from Sydney Morning Herald on how to recognise the signs of COVID-19 here.
The Synod asks that if you experience any cold like symptoms at all, that you work from home, or rest if you are unwell. Please call your manager to let them know you are unwell and to discuss your plans. If necessary, consult your doctor - testing for COVID-19 may be recommended.
If you think you may have symptoms of COVID-19, speak to your doctor. Call ahead of time to book an appointment. Tell your doctor about your symptoms, travel history and any recent close contact with someone who has the virus.
If you must leave home to see your doctor, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others.
You can call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450. The phone number of the NSW public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts
Self-isolate for 14 days, monitor your health and contact your doctor if you experience for any symptoms. Contact your manager as soon as possible and work from home.
Symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath suggest you may have COVID-19 and should immediately self-isolate and contact your doctor. Please ensure you notify your manager as soon as possible, who will, in turn, notify HR to provide assistance and advice where possible.
Should the situation be deemed serious enough, confirmation of COVID-19 may result in a temporary closure of the office to ensure the virus does not further spread in our workplaces.
- Keep up to date about the latest travel warnings and COVID-19 updates at www.health.nsw.gov.au
Now that everyone is working from home, please note the following options to connect to the network.
Work From Home Options:
Scenario 1: Work Device and Not yet migrated to EDRMS:
- Connect remotely to the network using a work device or watch the explainer video here using the password Synodremoteaccess (note case and no space breaks)
Scenario 2: Work Device and Migrated to EDRMS
Connect your work device to Internet through WiFi/SIM and access emails and EDRMS as normal from the Outlook and MacroView DMF Explorer.
Scenario 3: BYOD and Not yet Migrated to EDRMS
- Connect remotely to the network using a personal device or watch the explainer video here using the password Synodremoteaccess (note case and no space breaks)
Scenario 4: BYOD and Migrated to EDRMS
For those who work for Assembly, UFS or Uniting World:
- Watch the explainer video here for remote access using the password remote access (note case and no space breaks)
Other useful office information:
Working from home is not dissimilar to working in the office. Your remuneration will not be affected if you need to work from home during this time due to your own mild symptoms, family or self-isolation, or office temporary closure.
The Synod’s core office hours (not necessarily your normal work hours) are 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday. For the benefit of your colleagues and our members you should be available during these core hours or make alternative arrangements to ensure good business continuity. Much of our work can be conducted via phone and email. Meetings can be conducted via phone or Zoom.
NSW government closed a high school in NSW as a precautionary measure on Friday, 05/03/20, and reviewed the position over the weekend and reopened 4 days later.
While we cannot foresee closures, we are prepared to act, as a precaution, to minimize any disruption. I encourage you to discuss these options with your colleagues and put in place plans to manage effectively.
We will endeavor to keep the Synod Offices open, including with a skeleton staff where appropriate, however if there is an issue with a staff member/s we will follow the Public Health recommendations of NSW Department of Health.
HOW WILL WE COMMUNICATE WITH YOU?
Staff will be emailed on their UCA email address (we recognise not everyone receives these out of hours). You will be sent an SMS via our Emergency Text Alert System notifying you of any changes to normal work arrangements on the number you have provided to Synod Payroll as your best contact number. If you are unsure, call or message your manager.
The resources and advice of the Synod, regarding COVID-19, is available on this page and the Synod intranet.
Additionally, the Synod will ensure our agencies and colleagues will be notified of the temporary inconvenience.
Please take immediate steps to ensure your safety and that of your colleagues by practicing good hygiene and staying up to date. Remember to plan your work and online access to minimise any disruption, should you be required to work from home.
Additionally, we understand that this situation may cause some people to feel anxious and worried. We remind you of the availability of trained counselors with our EAP provider Benestar who can be contacted on 1300 360 364.
For the further information on the Australian Government Department of Health latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au