Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

coronavirus, public servants, aps, coronavirus, apsc, return to office

Some government employees return to Canberra offices on Friday more than two months after a quick seven-day lockdown was first announced as the territory’s COVID restrictions begin to be peeled back. However, not all departments and agencies have the same return plans. With restrictions in Canberra eased from Friday, civil servants will be allowed to work in office buildings, though face masks are mandatory. Among the departments beginning to return to work Friday are the State Department and Commerce, the Ministry of Health, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet and the ATO. Agency spokesmen said the return would be gradual and flexibility to work from home would remain in the coming weeks until November. Most employees at DFAT are expected to be back in office by the end of October, a spokesman said. From next Monday, a number of other departments and agencies will restart face to face with teams in the Department of Home Affairs and Education, Skills and Employment starting to filter back. It is understood that some employees of the Ministry of Defense will also be allowed to return to buildings from Monday. READ MORE: Veterans Affairs and the Federal Science Bureau CSIRO are part of a contingency of agencies that have marked a continuation of the work from home. Flexibility and staff well-being are still key, said a spokesman for the Veterans Affairs Department. “DVA encourages ACT-based personnel to continue working from home for the time being, unless there are operational requirements for them to return to the office,” a spokesman said. “Those who need to work in the office have been strongly encouraged to be vaccinated if they can.” Like the September 2020 filtering back to agency offices, a number of measures will be needed to prevent major outbreaks among staff. Social distance measures, face masks and restrictions on the number of employees allowed in the building at any given time are enforced. But public servants should not be vaccinated on their return, even if it has been encouraged. “Staff are not required to provide evidence of vaccination upon their return,” a DFAT spokesman said. Under the ACT Government’s roadmap, employers should continue to allow staff to work from home if practicable until the end of the month. In all areas accessible to the public, the rule must be one person per. Four square meters are used. Face masks remain mandatory in indoor work areas until at least December, but are not required for outdoor settings from October 29th. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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