Public Service Commissioner finally agrees: the safest thing is to work from home
Last night, the APS Commissioner issued new guidance to public service employers. “The updated guidance makes clear that, wherever practicable, public servants should work from home.” – Peter Woolcott, Australian Public Service Commissioner. Read more here.
Clearly there are mission critical roles in many departments which will need to be performed in the workplace. It is appropriate that these roles still be discharged while social distancing measures are observed. But for the majority of roles, we’re glad the APSC are getting it right and advising to send people home.
This is a step we’ve been calling on the APS to take for weeks. This updated guidance will help to protect the health and safety of 150,000 commonwealth public servants. Congratulations to all the members and delegates involved in achieving it.
Public Service gears up to redirect staff to address critical needs
The Prime Minister has asked Agency Heads to identify APS staff who can be reallocated to other government functions to maintain those APS services being placed under strain by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Australian Public Service Commissioner has established the APS Workforce Management Taskforce to coordinate the relocation of staff to meet the APS’s critical requirements.
We know that many members have already expressed a desire to help, and information is available on the APSC website about how the process will work: https://www.apsc.gov.au/aps-workforce-management-frequently-asked-questions
But we also know that there is an extraordinary number of unknowns in people’s lives at the moment, and this process may be adding to your stress and uncertainty. If you are identified as being in scope for reallocation, we’re here to help and members are encouraged to contact your local Professionals Australia delegate or official. If you need other types of support such as with stress, anxiety or depression, you can find the details of a number of support services here: http://www.professionalsaustralia.org.au/blog/24-7-mental-health-services/
If your require specific assistance at this time please contact your local Professionals Australia representative on the details below. Don’t forget also that you can connect with your colleagues at any time via Professionals Australia’s new online community
It’s only by taking on the challenges of 2020 together that we’ll be able to overcome them. Please share this email with your colleagues and encourage them to join.
Dale Beasley – Director ACT
Emma Parkinson – Organiser Victoria
Kimberley Rowney – Senior Organiser South Australia
Tamarah Rowlands – Senior Organiser Western Australia
Adrian Catt – Organiser New South Wales
Thomas Whibley – Organiser Queensland