COVID-19 Victoria Updates
Dear SCAV Members and Stakeholders,
Since January SCAV has provided the following advice to ensure you and your staff, along with owners, occupants and members of the public are informed and can reduce the risk of infection with the Novel Coronavirus.
The Commonwealth Department of Health has a comprehensive website Resources including posters can be downloaded from the Department of Health's website.
This virus can cause an infection in people, including a severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include runny nose, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.
We are aware of member businesses introducing precautionary policies to defer any non-essential meetings. This directly relates to strata committee and general meetings held on site or at office venues.
Based on best practice, proactive advice and preventative policies, we are encouraging our members to assess meetings on a case by case basis with a risk assessment and consider deferring or arranging alternative attendance methods for face to face meetings if there is a risk of contamination.
If meetings do occur, we encourage members to implement preventative measures and precautions to ensure both staff and attendees are not infected. This is a necessary precaution to reduce the risk of virus spread, particularly in circumstances where attendees at meetings may be infected or vulnerable. We also note this is a rapidly escalating issue and it may be appropriate at a time to consider deferring all face to face meetings.
SCAV is briefing Consumer Affairs Victoria on the potential impacts that may result from deferring meetings. We are liaising with Department of Health and Human Services and also holding ongoing discussions regarding the broader impact on service providers and services to owners corporations.
Drawing directly on current advice and information provided by both Federal and State government authorities, SCAV is implementing social distancing measures.
SCAV will therefore aim to deliver all scheduled education online and remotely.We will continue to monitor the situation closely and update this advice if necessary. We will also fast track our new accessible delivery modes, including podcasts, webinars, online resources to support you further.
Your business continuity planning for operating during a pandemic should be in place now. There are many external factors that are out of your control that may overnight affect how you can continue to operate your business. Like so many countries, we may move to lockdown or you may find that one of your staff advise you that they have been exposed and before you know it, everyone is at home in self isolation or hospital.
While it may not come to closing an entire office, some employees or all your employee may need to work from home. We recognise that not all business may be set up for this or set up for all staff to do the same. You are therefore encouraged to consider the options available to you, to minimise disruptions to the business as well as to minimise exposure to potential health risks.
How will the staff access the office files, talk to each other, receive calls from your clients to keep the business on track? SCAV encourage members to consider these questions and the many more that follow the discussion. Do you have a policy for working from home? Can you guide your staff on OH&S issues to be mindful of at home? What about insurance? What is best practice? What can you manage to do to the best of your ability with the imminent pressure and no time?