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19 November 2020
As directed by SA Health, only Category 1 or urgent Category 2 cases will be allowed during this lockdown. This means cancellation of elective surgeries which will have an impact on staffing requirements across the public and private sectors.
When a similar direction was issued earlier this year it was directed towards securing PPE, then in short supply and in ensuring the availability of hospital capacity to meet the anticipated demand created by the pandemic. Neither of these factors is, to our understanding, an issue bearing on the current environment.
We have heard from some members today, that due to this determination they are being stood down until elective surgeries resume. As such, we have sought urgent action from Premier Marshall and the Health Minister in either:
- Obtaining Commonwealth agreement to reactivate the viability scheme that underwrote salaries in the sector; and/or
- The State Government entering into such agreement with private operators and meeting the costs itself.
View the full correspondence here.
What happens if I am stood down?
If you and/or your colleagues are stood down, you should contact our Duty Officer immediately by emailing us
or calling 8334 1900.
The effect of a stand-down is that you remain employed, although you are not required to perform work and you are not paid during the period of the stand-down. However, you continue to accrue annual leave and personal leave entitlements while you are stood down.
The Fair Work Act 2009 allows employers to stand employees down without pay in certain circumstances when employees cannot be usefully employed.
There are several alternatives to standing down staff, which employers should also explore. These include:
- Requesting access to use accrued paid leave (e.g. annual leave).
- Negotiating with employees to change rosters or hours of work (by agreement only).
- Transferring staff to other sites and flexible working arrangements, such as working from home where possible.
- Instating a policy that provides for paid pandemic leave.
Additional information is available on the Fair Work Ombudsman website
Access to financial support if you are stood down
You may be eligible for some financial support if you are stood down including:
- JobKeeper – may be available where the employer is participating in the scheme. More information can be found here .
- JobSeeker – more information available here .
- Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment and the Cluster Isolation Payment – The Federal and State Governments have some financial support available. You can learn more about these payments and eligibility on the State Government’s COVID-19 website.