Here is a summary of the changes we’ve implemented across our organisation to date in response to COVID-19.
We are continuing to safely provide employment support services to our Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE) employees. Several preventative measures have been introduced, including:
- No visitors to sites
- Daily health check-ins upon arrival
- Physical distancing and strict no physical contact rules
- Additional and more frequent hygiene and sanitation practices
- Reduced numbers of employees at site to maintain the 4m square rule
- Individuals considered vulnerable and, in the Government’s ‘high risk’ category, have agreed to take leave
We take seriously our employees’ right to make informed choices about what is best for them and their family. We have been communicating with our employees and their families throughout this crisis to ensure everyone understands all the measures and restrictions we have in place and can make the best decision for them about whether to go to work or avail of the option to stay home.
For many of our employees, the work we offer is so much more than a job or an income – it provides social connection, friendship, mental wellness, skill development and career pathways.
We are not driven to continue to operate our businesses for a profit. We continue to operate because it is our purpose to provide employment to people with disability. Remaining open for those who choose to continue to attend work is in the best interests of the people we serve.
Many people have exercised their choice. The numbers of people at work on any given day have significantly reduced – this is through people choosing to remain at home, as well as any vulnerable person considered a high risk to COVID-19 agreeing to take leave. Consequently, we’re operating at a significantly reduced capacity on any given day.
We have a ‘keep in contact’ plan to remain in touch with those on leave, to ensure people remain connected to the workplace. We are also developing and delivering creative ways to deliver services and supports to all our employees and their families. This includes looking at ways to provide support to individuals with employment activities virtually and digitally.
We are looking at developing options for physical work and skills development activities to be completed at home, recognising social distancing restrictions.
Our community supports service delivery model has been significantly adjusted to adhere with the Government’s social distancing rules.
- Many individuals and families have elected to suspend supports to stay at home, and we are remaining in touch to look at providing alternative supports and ensure people remain socially connected
- We are providing one-one-one supports with a support worker for approved outdoor activities like exercise, walking and hiking
- Other participants are now being supported through a variety of online support sessions
Other safety measures
In addition to these changes, we have also:
- Provided COVID-19 cross infection training for all staff
- Enforced social distancing requirements of 1.5m and strict no physical contact rules
- Introduced extra safety precautions for staff visiting homes
- Enabled the tools and resources for staff to work from home if they can do so
- Been in contact with all our individuals and families to discuss support options
- Asked our individuals and their families to keep in regular contact with us in regards to any other contacts they may have had outside of the home, such as with other service providers
We’re here to support our people and the community during this uncertain time. If you have any concerns or feedback, please contact our response team.