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    HR Matters

    HR information to support WSLHD staff and managers
    during COVID-19

    Resources available from this page

    Public Health Order l Testing and isolationWorkforce advice l COVID-19: Isolation advice for parents and carers l Childcare Centres l Flexible work practices l Leave Provisions | Recruitment | Rostering Arrangements & Processes | Nursing and Midwifery COVID-19 casual pool | Temporary Service Closures | Salary Packaging/ Smart Salary | SMS Alerts | Staff Safety & Reporting Abuse | Staff Wellbeing | Temporary Accommodation | Work, Health & Safety

    Public Health Order

    The Public Health (COVID-19 Vaccination of Health Care Workers) Order 2021 establishes mandatory requirements for health staff and persons working in health settings to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine.
    The Order requires the first dose of a vaccine by 30 September 2021, with a second dose required by 30 November 2021. Read more here.

    Positive cases

    Anyone who develops any COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, must immediately get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

    Healthcare workers who test positive to COVID can return to work on day 10 after their positive test if they have been asymptomatic for at least 72 hours.

    Exposure and isolation

    If you have had high-risk contact with a COVID-positive person, get a PCR test immediately and self-isolate until you receive your result. Please inform your manager immediately who will follow a risk assessment to determine your level of exposure. Your manager will help assess what it means for your work, isolation and testing requirements. 

    Rapid antigen tests are available for essential workers who have been assessed by their manager and are deemed to be low risk and can return to work with ongoing surveillance testing. These kits are provided for work and are not for personal use, and are available from the Westmead Hospital and Blacktown Hospital swabbing clinics.

    You will need to show a copy of your risk assessment approved by your manager to pick up the rapid antigen test kits. You can watch a video on how to use a rapid antigen test here.

    An updated healthcare worker exposure toolkit is available for managers.

    Affected venues – monitor for symptoms

    People who have been to a venue around the same time as a person with COVID-19 will receive a case alert from Service NSW. The alert provides general health advice to monitor for symptoms and get tested if symptoms appear. Read more on the NSW Health case locations site.

    Risk Assessment

    Health workers, including support services, are essential staff and so can attend work if they are well. A risk assessment is needed in the event of exposure to COVID-19 at work or in the community. See the healthcare worker exposure toolkit and speak to your manager for more information. Assistance is available from Human Resources and Public Health.

    Workforce advice

    Current workforce advice
    COVID-19 Workforce Advice for NSW Health (16 February 2022)

    Current work health and safety advice
    COVID-19 Work Health and Safety Advice for NSW Health (16 February 2022)

    COVID-19: Self-isolation and testing

    The latest requirements and advice regarding exposure to COVID-19 is available on the NSW Health website.

    Further information is available at:

    Childcare Centres

    WSLHD has child care centres for children up to five years of age onsite at Westmead, Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospitals. Please contact the relevant centre to find out more if you are interested in this service.

    Flexible work practices

    In line with the NSW Premier’s advice, WSLHD is now asking managers to assess suitable staff for ability to work from home, either completely or for part of the week.

    In the current context it is important to give broad consideration, including whether there are is small amount of non-critical parts of the staff member’s role that can be put on hold so that this does not become a barrier to working from home.

    To find out more, visit the Flexible working during COVID-19 page.

    Related information:

    Leave provisions

    See latest Ministry of Health workforce advice for leave provisions.


    In light of the current situation with regards to COVID-19, managers are encouraged to proceed with interviews already booked as well as continue forward with holding interviews in the near future.

    For the most up-to-date information, visit the Recruitment intranet site (link can only be accessed while on campus or via VPN).

    Management of Vulnerable Healthcare Workers - COVID-19 

    The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)’s position was adopted as the definition of people who are vulnerable workers in relation to COVID-19.

    On 07 July 2021 the advice on people at risk of COVID-19 was replaced with advice that categorised those who are at risk into two risk categories; high risk and moderate risk.

    Download the WSLHD fact sheet for a summary of this advice.


    The full advice is available here.


    Rostering arrangements & processes

    Due to the current surge in demand in response to COVID-19 it is important that managers update HealthRoster and StaffLink with specific COVID codes that can be captured and reported in these systems. Download the Rostering Best Practice Team (RBPT) update to find out more.

    Related information:

    Salary Packaging/ Smart Salary

    For the most up-to-date information, visit the Smart Salary COVID-19 page.

    SMS Alerts

    ServiceNow plans to send SMS alerts to notify NSW Health staff about important COVID-19 information including updates about these Communities of Practice, as well as PPE, accommodation and parking arrangements. Please check your mobile number in StaffLink to make sure you are able to receive these.

    Staff Safety & Reporting Abuse

    Staff who have experienced abuse should proceed directly to Security on arrival at the hospital or NSW Police on arrival at home. Both WSLHD Security and NSW Police will take these concerns seriously and provide assistance and advice about the next steps.

    Any concerns or incidents should be reported to your hospital Security team, your manager, and NSW Police or Crime Stoppers.

    Make sure you have these useful contact numbers entered in your phone, and turn on the SOS function in your phone if you have it:

    NSW Police: Urgent 000, Police Assistance Reporting line 13 444, Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000
    WSLHD Security: Westmead 8890 7625, Blacktown (02) 9881 8014, Cumberland (02) 9840 3500, Auburn (02) 8759 3411, Mount Druitt (02) 9881 1766

    Please change clothes at our facilities during work time to avoid wearing your uniform in public, and contact Security staff if you would like an escort to your car, particularly after dark. It is also important to remain aware of your surroundings and use direct, well-lit routes while travelling to and from work. 

    Trust your instincts – if you feel uncomfortable in a situation, leave right away and get help if needed. Emergency assistance devices are available in our carparks, on public transport and in some public spaces. If travelling by car keep your doors locked and do not respond to aggressive drivers. If harassed or threatened, call 000 or drive to the nearest police station.

    Please take care, and report any concerns or incidents so we can assist you. Confidential, free counselling is also available at any time by contacting Access EAP on 1800 818 728.

    Staff Wellbeing

    Visit the Staff Wellbeing site to access information and resources that have been collated to support both staff and managers during COVID-19.

    Temporary Accommodation for Staff

    Following NSW Health’s notification that frontline health workers are able to access free temporary accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the District has developed a framework and procedure to assist staff in applying for accommodation. 

    We understand that some staff may feel anxious about potentially passing COVID-19 onto their families and members of their household. Strictly maintaining the protective actions of frequent handwashing, cough etiquette, using the correct PPE, maintaining physical distance where possible and not attending work when unwell, remain the best ways of reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19. 

    Every application for alternative accommodation will be considered on its own merits according to need and availability. As temporary accommodation cannot be guaranteed for all staff, requests from staff with established higher risk will be prioritised for approval.

    Who is eligible?

    There are five categories of eligibility which have been developed in line with the principles outlined by the Ministry:

    1. Staff without a permanent place of residence 
    2. Staff who are unable to self-isolate safely 
    3. The presence of a vulnerable person in the usual place of residence 
    4. COVID-19 operational or staff fatigue considerations 
    5. Other reasons based on individual circumstances and risk

    How do I apply?

    Staff need to discuss their needs with their manager and fully disclose the nature of their concerns. A risk assessment approach will be used to determine the impacts of these concerns. Where there is concern around vulnerable household members, the vulnerability needs to be assessed against the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee’s advice on vulnerable people to determine vulnerability. The workplace of the staff member needs to be understood in relation to the risk profile of the clinical space. The application pack attached includes flowcharts to assist with the assessment of applications and decision-making. 


    Tier 3/General Manager approval is required prior to processing applications, except during after-hours periods where the After Hours Manager may provide approval in emergency circumstances. Approved forms should be sent to procurement for allocation of available accommodation.

    Accommodation types

    Temporary accommodation varies from hospital accommodation to self-contained hotel apartments, depending on the nature and duration of the staff member’s need. Locations will be local within a few kilometres of WSLHD hospitals. Accommodation is provided for the staff member only, and extra beds/cots cannot be provided for additional family members, unless there are exceptional circumstances (e.g. breastfeeding infant, single parents). In emergency circumstances where a staff member needs to shelter with their children for safety reasons, we will assist to the best of our ability, pending involvement of the relevant community or inter-agency services. Pets other than registered service animals cannot be accommodated.

    Duration of accommodation

    The duration of the accommodation will depend on the nature of the staff member’s need, however initially it can be approved for up to 14 days before requiring review. This gives sufficient time for an isolation period to be completed and for the staff member to make alternate accommodation arrangements if their needs are ongoing. In some cases, subsequent periods of temporary accommodation can be approved after the initial period, however this should be reviewed regularly prior to the end of the current approval period. This ensures that the District will be able to maintain adequate availability to assist staff when they most need it.

    The District has already been able to provide temporary accommodation to some staff who have needed it. If you think that you have a need as well, please look at the attached fact sheets and application processes and get in touch with your manager. People and Culture are also able to assist where needed.

    Work, Health & Safety

    For the most up-to-date information, visit the Work Health and Safety intranet site (link can only be accessed while on campus or via VPN).

    Page last updated: Wednesday, 5 January 2022 10:49:29 AM

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    Disclaimer: Information on the COVID-19 Staff Information, Staff Wellbeing and other COVID-19 pages are intended for WSLHD staff. Information from these pages is not permitted to be disseminated or distributed to any third party outside WSLHD.
    Any such act may constitute a breach of the WSLHD Code of Conduct.