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Team Member Health Update: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • 13 mins

As a provider of health care, we have been closely monitoring developments and advice relating to the coronavirus. As your employer, we want to ensure we are supporting you to remain informed during this pandemic and ask that you please read the below information.

Page last updated: 6 May 2021

NSW Advice

New South Wales will be introducing new COVID-19 restrictions for Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains) as of midday 6 May 2021 (enforceable from 5pm 6/05/2021) until 12:01am Monday 10 May 2021.

Masks will be compulsory in indoor areas across Greater Sydney.

New COVID-19 cases have been linked to a number of venues across Greater Sydney. Please click here to see what these locations are.

We remind all team members of the following during this time:
– Surgical face masks MUST be worn during every service & changed a minimum of every four hours. Click here for further information
– COVID-19 Health Check Questions MUST be asked before attending EVERY service. Please click here to download the latest version from Qintil.

Should you require immediate access to additional PPE, please purchase it and seek reimbursement from HenderCare. For non-urgent PPE supply requests, please email ppe@hendercare.com.au.

Important Information

As a reminder, you must inform HenderCare immediately if you meet any of the below criteria:

1. Did you (or anyone in your household) return from overseas or an interstate/local high community transmission zone in the last 14 days?
2. Have you (or anyone in your household) been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
3. Have you (or anyone in your household) been directed to self-isolate / (self-quarantine)?
4. Are you (or anyone in your household) awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test?
5. Do you (or anyone in your household) have cold or flu-like symptoms (e.g: fever or respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath)?

If you meet any of these criteria, you are not permitted to work for HenderCare until you have received a medical clearance to do so. You are strongly encouraged to seek testing for COVID-19.

If you have travelled from interstate, please refer to the official government advice for your state or territory regarding testing and quarantine requirements. Depending on the state you reside in and where you have travelled from, you may be ineligible to work and must inform your HenderCare Coordinator immediately. Please consult the below links for the most up-to-date advice on travel restrictions.

SA I VIC I WA I NSW I QLD I TAS I ACT

Anyone with health concerns regarding the coronavirus needs to see their GP or attend a mobile testing clinic as soon as possible and is not permitted to continue working in their role at HenderCare until they have received medical clearance to do so. This must be provided to HenderCare (hr@hendercare.com.au) before you can be assigned shifts.

If you are healthy, you are encouraged to continue working as normal.

Infection Prevention and Control Interim Risk Management Guidelines during COVID-19

In response to the pandemic, all team members are encouraged to review HenderCare’s Infection Prevention and Control Interim Risk Management Guidelines. We encourage all team members to review this document via Qintil.

COVIDSafe App

COVIDSafe is an app that has been developed to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Downloading the app is something you can do to protect you, your family and friends and save the lives of other Australians. The more Australians connect to the COVIDSafe app, the quicker we can find the virus.

We encourage all team members to download the app, available here on the App Store or Google Play.

What to do in the event of a lockdown

Should your state or territory go into lockdown please follow the below general advice. Please note that in the event of a lockdown, HenderCare will provide you with further information relevant to your location.

  • Please keep your HenderCare ID badge and proof of essential services letter on you at all times when travelling to and from services.
  • Surgical face masks MUST be worn during every service & changed a minimum of every four hours.
  • COVID-19 Health Check Questions MUST be asked before attending EVERY service.
  • If you require urgent access to additional PPE, please purchase it from your local pharmacy, supermarket or other store and HenderCare will reimburse you the cost. For PPE requests, please email ppe@hendercare.com.au.
  • All team members have a responsibility to check your local health website for regular updates regarding the lockdown and any new quarantine advice.

Notifiable condition

COVID-19 is a notifiable condition under the Australian Notifiable Disease Surveillance System and must be disclosed.

PPE Advice

With state and territory advice changing frequently regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), we encourage you to check your emails regularly for updates from HenderCare regarding PPE requirements relevant to your state.

We have developed a PPE Matrix to help provide guidance of HenderCare’s current national PPE requirements. Please click here to access.

Please click the below links for further information regarding correct use of PPE.

We advise that you bring paper towel and hand sanitiser with you to each service in the event that the service recipient does not have any in their home. Please ensure you wash your hands and cough into your elbow or a tissue to help prevent the spread of germs.

Domestic Assistance and PPE Use

If you provide Domestic Assistance services, please follow the below advice regarding PPE.

  • Please wash hands between glove usage
  • If you are using heavy duty gloves for cleaning, these can be washed with soap and water and dried with paper towel before you leave the premises. Please remember that the gloves need to be completely dry before next service
  • Where possible, please have more than one pair of heavy duty gloves
  • Where possible, please use disposable gloves except for high risk jobs (bathroom, toilet, chemicals)
  • At no stage should you be wearing PPE between jobs, all PPE should be removed and either cleaned (if possible) or disposed of

Face mask information

  • When face masks are required, HenderCare care asks affected team members to wear single-use surgical face masks.
  • Cloth masks are not currently approved for use at HenderCare services.
  • For a video reminder of how to put on your face mask, click here.
  • Surgical face masks MUST be changed every four hours, or earlier if any of the following criteria are met:
    • The mask becomes wet, soiled or damaged;
    • Between services and before getting into your vehicle

How to access additional PPE

  • For urgent PPE requests, we ask you to purchase PPE from a pharmacy or supermarket and HenderCare will reimburse the cost.
  • For non-urgent PPE requests, please email ppe@hendercare.com.au outlining the below
    • What type of PPE is required
    • Preferred size (if relevant)
    • Your best contact details (phone and email)
    • Your address (including state and postcode)
  • For team members in SA, you are welcome to book a time to collect PPE from head office (level 3, 81 Flinders St, Adelaide). Click here to book a collection
  • For HenderCare Foundation team members, please email DCPSupplyChain@sa.gov.au to request additional PPE.
Health considerations for older or vulnerable team members

In line with government advice, HenderCare would like to remind those workers considered vulnerable to more serious infection (including aged over 70 years, non-Indigenous and are aged 65 years or older with a chronic illness or are Indigenous and aged 50 years or older with a chronic illness) to discuss with our HR team how best to manage your own risk at work.

If you feel that you are more vulnerable to infection, or for any other personal medical circumstances feel that you should not be attending work, please raise your concerns with your Coordinator who can refer this matter to Human Resources.

You can speak with our team by calling 1300 764 433.

Service information

Health Check Questions

We require all HenderCare team members to ask the service recipient the below questions upon arrival at service and at a distance of 1.5m before entering the home:

1. Did you (or anyone in your household) return from overseas or an interstate/local high community transmission zone in the last 14 days?
2. Have you (or anyone in your household) been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
3. Have you (or anyone in your household) been directed to self-isolate / (self-quarantine)?
4. Are you (or anyone in your household) awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test?
5. Do you (or anyone in your household) have cold or flu-like symptoms (e.g: fever or respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath)?

If the service recipient answers ‘yes’ to any of these questions, please call your Coordinator immediately on 1300 764 433.

If whilst at service, you have concerns about the health of the service recipient, please call your Coordinator on 1300 764 433. If the service recipient is having difficulty breathing or any other form of severe medical episode, please call 000.

Domestic assistance

If you are attending a domestic assistance service, please pay particular attention to areas that receive frequent contact (for example door handles or benchtops) and be sure to clean and sanitise these surfaces thoroughly. Wear your required personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensure a new pair of disposable gloves is used at each service, or more frequently if required.

Providing social supports

  • Transport and social supports should be limited to essential destinations only
  • When transporting a HenderCare service recipient, the recipient should sit in the rear seat on the passenger side (max one client per sedan)
  • When transporting for HenderCare Foundation, you are permitted to have more than passenger per trip with the understanding that all passengers reside in the same house and do not have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Air-conditioning should be left off and if air is needed, please open a rear window, driver window can also be opened
  • Vehicles need to be cleaned before next use/client job/service (disinfectant wipes preferable)
  • Social supports should be carried out in the home (where possible) and at a distance of 1.5m
  • Shopping lists should be organised prior to arriving at the shops
  • Good personal hygiene at all times and a change of clothes (in case required)

Meal Preparation

The World Health Organisation’s Food and Safety Guidance advise that food preparation can still occur with the below in mind:

  • Wearing gloves
  • Proper hand hygiene
  • Frequent use of hand sanitiser (where possible)
  • Frequent cleaning of/disinfection of surface
  • Frequent cleaning of high touch point areas (e.g.: door handles)
  • We also ask that all fruit and veg is washed thoroughly before eating or cooking it

Co-payment Collection and PPE

When collecting cash co-payments at a service, please ensure you wash your hands thoroughly after touching the money, or sanitise where washing is not possible.

If you do not feel comfortable doing this, you are also welcome to follow the below procedure:

  • Wear gloves when accepting cash
  • Place the collected money into a snap-lock bag and seal
  • Wear gloves when handling your receipt book and when providing the receipt to the service recipient
  • Please leave the receipt on a clean surface
  • Wear gloves when removing the cash from the snap-lock bag and clean the money in warm soapy water (old toothbrushes can be effective to scrub coins)
  • Allow to dry thoroughly before storing

What to do if a service recipient is thinking of cancelling/suspending their services

Whilst at work you may speak with service recipients who are thinking about temporarily suspending their services. At a time of a health crisis, it is natural that some people will look to do this and it is completely their choice to do so.

If a service recipient tells you that they are thinking of suspending their services, we encourage you to remind them that HenderCare can work with them to ensure they feel comfortable during the service. Some ways to do this include:

  • additional cleaning of high touch point areas in the home
  • the service recipient is welcome to be in another room or outside (weather permitting) while you work in the home
  • home and garden maintenance workers can remain outside for the duration of the service
  • maintain social distancing
  • encourage the service recipient to provide hospital-grade cleaning products
  • discuss the use of PPE
  • encourage good hand and cough hygiene

If the service recipient still wishes to suspend the service, they are welcome to do so and we ask that you please direct them to call a HenderCare Coordinator on 1300 764 433 to put this in place.

Timesheet

Our timesheet highlights our health check questions at the top of the sheet. Please ensure you are always using the latest version of the timesheet by downloading it from Qintil (you can locate the timesheet under My Tasks > Timesheets).

During COVID-19 the service recipient is not required to obtain a signature.

Please submit one timesheet per attachment in an email. For example, if you are submitting 3 x timesheets (in Word, PDF or photo format), there should be 3 separate attachments or images in the email. Or, you may prefer to send 3 emails.

Training Information

A number of training activities are beginning to resume face-to-face, whilst others remain online. We encourage you to complete all requirements through Qintil unless advised otherwise by your local HR and Training teams.

In our SA office – we are running blended first aid and CPR training for team members.

All team members must complete the Supporting People to Stay Infection Free training course. To complete this training, please access the course via Qintil.

Accessing Support

Pay

Services Australia have a range of COVID-19 specific financial support measures in place for those who are eligible. To find out if you are eligible for financial support, please click here.

Employee Assist Program

HenderCare has an Employee Assist Program (EAP) available for you to access if you find yourself experiencing emotional, financial or work-related stress during this pandemic. The EAP is provided independently from HenderCare and provides you with up to three confidential sessions with a trained counsellor. To find out more about the EAP, please click here.

Your health and the health of our service recipients is of paramount importance to HenderCare. We are here to support you in staying as healthy as possible during this pandemic.

Your feedback

We want to make sure during this time that you feel supported by HenderCare. Please remember that we have a team of Coordinators who are available to take your call 24/7.

Useful Links

– The Australian Government Department of Health website (www.health.gov.au)

– Smart Traveller (www.smartraveller.gov.au)

– National Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080

– Health Direct 1800 022 222

– Health Direct COVID-19 symptoms checker (click here)

– Coronavirus Australia app (apple) (google play)

– Coles Community Hour Shopping information (click here)

– Woolworths Priority Assistance Program form (for older and vulnerable people) (click here)

– Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Health Hotline (click here)

Please note that HenderCare aims to update this information as frequently as possible. In the event of an outbreak or lockdown in areas in which HenderCare provides services, team members will be provided further information relevant to the specific situation. If you have questions or concerns regarding this information, please contact your Service Delivery and Rostering Officer.

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