The decision to lockdown Southern Tasmania for a period of three days means Tasmania has now begun its first lockdown in around 18 months. Understandably, the announcement has left many members with questions as to how this decision will impact their work come Monday.

At the moment, we only have the publicly available information to go on but have asked the Minister for Local Government and Planning for more tailored information in relation to the status of local government workplaces. In the absence of more specific information, the state government information provides that some workplaces will be deemed CLOSED / NOT PERMITTED.

Most areas of Council should be able to continue operating, either as normal, or working from home.

The areas of council operations which will be required to be CLOSED include:

  • Tourism Services;
  • Sports facilities, including gyms and swimming pools;
  • Galleries, museums and historic sites; and
  • Concert venues and stadiums.

Areas OPEN WITH RESTRICTIONS include:

  • Construction and Roads:
    Can remain open for safety, maintenance of transport infrastructure, to maintain drainage and to work on incomplete works that would deteriorate.
  • Neighbourhood Houses, Youth Centres, etc.:
    Can only remain open for essential services.

All other areas can remain OPEN, with a preference for working from home. If unable to work from home, offices are permitted to open with appropriate social distancing in place (1 person per 4 square metres).

If your boss has any concerns about remaining open, the government information states “If a business or service is not listed as ‘closed’, then it should be assumed to be open.”

Members in areas that are legitimately closed should be redeployed to other duties, where possible, or provided with paid pandemic leave (if your employer provides this). In cases where your employer refuses to do either, then you may need to use annual leave or other paid leave, if available.

We will be writing to your General Manager / CEO to seek confirmation that operations will continue where possible and to request information on how they intend to work around restrictions in place in others.

Rest assured, we’re by your side during these trying times. We realise that this is a stressful time for many. Please ensure you are seeking help, should you need it, through your employer’s EAP provider.

We will keep in touch as things develop.

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