We all have a responsibility to keep physical distance from others where we can. Fewer people in our workplaces and on public transport helps slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the community.
As Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) services are considered essential, our services remain operational. Where we can, we have been changing our service delivery to reduce or stop face-to-face contact and we’re limiting non-essential visits to our workplaces.
On this page:
- Employees who can work form home
- Employees who need to attend their normal work location
- Employees who are at risk
- Attending work for essential meetings
- Recording your hours and flexible working hours
Employees who can work from home
If you are working from home, it’s important to:
- Have a conversation with your manager about a practical and flexible working arrangement that works for you and the team. DCJ has existing policies and procedures to provide staff with flexible working options. These are available to read on the Justice intranet and FACS intranet. People Business Partners can also provide advice and assist with issues that may not be covered on this page.
- Be available by email and phone. Make sure to forward your office phone to a mobile device wherever possible. More information about how to forward a FACS landline is available on the Technology for flexible working page. To forward a Justice landline, you will need to use the call forward setting on the physical handset.
- Make time for regular catch-ups and meetings with your team and manager. Make sure to use approved collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex. Meetings with external parties should also use remote technology wherever possible. Visit the DCJ Collaboration Tools page on the FACS intranet to learn more.
Use the COVID-19 work from home checklist and ergonomics principles guide to setup your home workspace. Keep a copy of these documents, or save them somewhere that’s easy to access, to refer to when you need it.
For a range of tips and tools to help you make working from home productive, visit the Public Service Commission website. Resources to support your mental and physical wellbeing are also available on the Health and Wellbeing page.
Employees who need to attend their normal work location
For some teams, we know it is not practical or possible for all employees to work from home. Where this is the case, managers and employees should discuss working arrangements, and whether any flexible arrangements can be put in place, including:
- necessary technology or support required to work remotely
- appropriate adjustments to hours or locations for employees who have to attend the workplace
- options that minimise large numbers of employees attending the workplace together
- ensuring that physical distancing and hygiene practices are maintained.
Parking arrangements can be made where possible for employees who have to attend the office.
Employees who are at risk
Staff who are at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19 are encouraged to work from home where possible, or discuss flexible arrangements with their manager. For more information on who is considered to be at risk, see the Leave entitlements page.
Attending work for essential meetings
Where employees are working from home, there may be some circumstances where attendance is required in the workplace for essential meetings or other necessities.
Managers and staff should take a flexible approach and consider the health advice and social restrictions in place at the time, only requiring attendance in the workplace if this is absolutely necessary and allowing employees to return home after any required attendance.
Recording your hours and flexible working hours
In these extraordinary circumstances, we recognise the importance of flexible working and that everyone’s situation is different.
DCJ has a number of Flexible Working Hours Agreements that are designed to let you change and adapt the way you work to better suit your needs. These are available to read on the Justice and FACS intranets.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, and particularly while working from home:
- Continue to fill-out your flex sheet as normal, including start time, meal break, and end time. You can still accrue flex time while working from home.
- If you briefly stop working during the day to take care of family members (such as taking care of children), add the total hours of work you completed that day and record it on your flex sheet. You do not need to record what times you stopped and resumed work during the day, just how long you have worked that day in total.
- In the Flexible Working Hours Agreement that applies to you, take advantage of the bandwidth hours and discuss with your supervisor the most suitable times to work.
- If you take a break while working from home, add the time taken to your meal break.
- Speak with your supervisor about the possibility to vary the core hours in your Flexible Working Hours Agreement to best suit your circumstances.