In addition to other communications released regarding our response to COVID-19, CEO Lee Broomhall has prepared a personal message for our participants, families, and customers.
This message was recorded on the 18th March 2020, and the full transcript of the message is available below.
“As we wake up everyday there are more updates and news to process and respond to in relation to COVID-19.
There’s no question we’re in unprecedented times. The Government continues to put things in place for all of us to protect ourselves, and our loved ones.
At Workpower, we continue to be very vigilant and proactive about our part in ‘stopping the spread’. We believe the need to slow down potential transmissions and give our health professionals critical time to respond is vitally important. The health, safety and wellbeing of our people is my single highest priority right now and I want to take this opportunity to update you on Workpower’s latest responses and the extra precautions we are taking during this global pandemic. Hopefully, you have seen all other communications sent out by the organisation to date.
Our current situation
At present, it’s important to note there are no known cases of the virus anywhere in our organisation. We are continuing to provide support services and also operating all our business enterprises.
It is important to remember that in WA 34 of the now 35 reported cases can be traced to a person who had recently returned to our State from overseas travel. The other is still being determined.
Our preventative measures
To ensure we are adhering to strict World Health and federal and state government health guidelines, we have introduced:
- No physical contact rules
- Strict visitors protocols
- More frequent and increased cleaning and sanitisation procedures
- Working from home options (where applicable)
The Federal Government’s self-isolation requirements for people returning from overseas had now been strengthened with a ban on all overseas travel. At Workpower we have widened the self-isolation rules to also cover people are in close contact or live with a family member who has recently returned from overseas and is in mandatory isolation. This measure is designed to protect all of our people.
We are continuing with our toolbox and training sessions and have introduced:
- Increased hygiene and sanitation measures
- Social distancing recommendations (a 1.5 metre gap where possible between colleagues)
- Daily health checks on arrival at business sites
Meetings are held using technology or with less than 10 people only, on an essential needs basis.
Our community supports
For our NDIS and individualised support community, all group activities have been suspended. Our staff have been and are currently talking to all families about support that can be offered in a safe, low risk way.
We have been receiving many questions through our COVID email hotline, which is fantastic, and we plan to circulate Frequently Asked Questions to everyone. It’s important to say that any decisions you make for your family will be absolutely supported by us.
Our response team
Our COVID Response Taskforce to coordinate Workpower’s response, reduce the risk of transmission and to provide regular updates to all our clients, families and customers is headed by Shane O’Connor Executive Manager, Corporate Services and Melissa Cook, General Manager Human Resources. The group consists of our executives and CFO.
We have been working around the clock to ensure we are monitoring, managing and mitigating the risks to our people and their families. We will continue to follow the latest advice from health authorities.
A final word
The people we support – people with disability – and their families – need us to continue to be open and operating. More than ever perhaps. And that is our intention.
We intend to keep providing services, safely and meaningfully, to keep being an important constant in people’s lives and to encourage everyone to cooperate and respect each other as we all work through this crisis together.
Our continuity plans are in place, some of which have already been enacted. Others are in place, tested and ready to go should we need to activate measures like addressing a potential staff shortage so we can continue to provide these important services.
Please keep checking for regular updates or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during what is a very worrying time for all of us. You have my absolute commitment that Workpower is doing everything we can, and you have my empathy as we all modify the way we are currently living our lives, in order to protect our loved ones, and the community as a whole.
Thank you and please stay safe.”
If you have any current health concerns relating to COVID, please contact the National Coronavirus Help Information Line on 1800 020 080.