Lockdown Impact on Local Government Employees


WALGA confirms the Public Sector Labour Relations Circular 2/2021 regarding workforce arrangements for the lockdown commencing Monday, 1 February does not apply to Local Government employees.
Under the Stay at Home and Closure (Perth, Peel and South West Regions) Directions (No.2),  Local Government CEOs have the discretion to determine which services and workers are essential across their organisation.

WALGA strongly encourages Local Governments to find alternative work that can be undertaken from home for other employees affected by this week’s lockdown and avoid standing employees down without pay.

Pandemic provisions – Federal Award

Where the Local Government Industry Award 2020 (LGIA) applies,
Schedule X of the LGIA provides for two weeks’ unpaid pandemic leave and it allows an employer and employee to agree to an employee taking twice as much annual leave on half pay. The operation of Schedule X in the LGIA has been extended to 29 March 2021. 
 
Pandemic provisions – State General Order

A General Order was issued last year by the WA Industrial Relations Commission which applies to Local Governments that operate in the State industrial relations system and their employees. The General Order provides for two weeks’ unpaid pandemic leave and the taking of annual leave at half pay and in advance. The General Order has been extended to 31 March 2021. 
 
If you are a subscriber to the WALGA Employee Relations service and require advice, please email employeerelations@walga.asn.au or call 1300 366 956.

If you don’t subscribe to the WALGA Employee Relations service and require advice, please contact your usual employee relations or legal advisor. 
 

Role of EHOs in Assessments of Contact Registers


Under the updated Closure and Restriction (Limit the Spread) Directions (No. 12) in effect from Tuesday, 2 February, the list of establishments required to request contact information from patrons has expanded.  
These directions expand the list of places where an occupier or person apparently in charge of the place is required to request contact information of people who enter the place.
 
Originally these requirements were to be brought in on Friday, 12 February, but they have been brought forward in response to the current COVID-19 lockdown.
 
Since the initial Contact register direction was introduced in early December last year, Local Government Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) have been viewing contact registers in establishments they visit as part of their usual duties.
 
Monitoring and compliance of contact registers is only expected to form an extension of routine inspections of premises/places specified in Schedule 1 of the Direction that are already regulated by Local Government.

Of the additional places added to Schedule 1 of the Direction:
  • EHOs can assess contact register requirements in takeaway and beverage premises as part of routine duties.
  • EHOs are not expected to assess any retail premises outside of statutory requirements.
  • EHOs are not expected to assess any recreational transport vehicles unless the vehicle is registered under the Food Act 2008 and then only as a part of routine inspections.
Contact register Non-Compliance Notice and Non-Compliance Referral Form templates have now been provided to Local Governments.
 
The State Emergency Coordinator’s Directorate is collating contact register inspection statistics and has asked all Local Governments to report each Wednesday on the number of inspections, cautions, non-compliance notices issued, referrals to WA Police as well as any other feedback.

For more information, email the State Emergency Coordinator's Directorate


Public Toilets and Water Fountains to Remain Open During Lockdown 


WALGA has been advised that some Local Governments have closed down their public toilets and water fountains. 

WALGA has confirmed with WA Police and the Department of Health that public toilets and water fountains are to remain operational.