It took some time and several attempts, but I have now have been provided with some information about HCFs response to you, as a worker, during the COVID-19 crisis. The below information was sent to the USU on 26 March 2020.

Please read; if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact me directly.

Emily Callachor, Organiser
0417 420 924

  1. HCF’s overarching position with respect to working from home is that if an employee is able to perform their role from home, any request to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic is accommodated. However, it is noted that due to some technological and practical limitations, some roles cannot currently be performed from home, and accordingly those staff are currently required to continue attending HCF premises and offices but in line with Government and Department of Health restrictions and advice.
  2. HCF is currently undertaking an urgent review of its technology and operational systems and has invested heavily in working towards enabling more employees to transition to working from home arrangements where possible.
  3. Any employee who indicates that they do not feel comfortable attending HCF offices due to COVID-19 is provided with the option to take any accrued annual or long service leave.
  4. HCF is open to considering any requests from any employee requesting to borrow office equipment, such as a keyboard or mouse, in order to assist the employee in completing their work from home. HCF will assess each request on a case by case basis. It is not practical or appropriate to have a one-size fits all approach to the lending of office equipment.
  5. HCF is undertaking an assessment on a case by case basis any requirement for an employee to take special leave.
  6. HCF has provided 10 days of special leave to the following impacted employees:
    a. employees with a diagnosed or suspected case of COVID-19;
    b. employees required to quarantine at home as a result of identified contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19; and
    c. employees required to self-isolate following their return from an overseas trip.
  7. HCF does not intend at this stage to introduce a blanket special leave policy and will continue to assess on a case by case basis.
  8. HCF is attempting to operate as close to “usual” as it can, within the limitations we have to work with, making adjustments where necessary in order protect the health and safety of employees and in order to align with Government and Department of Health advice. On this basis, we confirm that it has not been necessary to close a whole office or department due to a suspected or actual exposure to COVID-19. In the event that this occurs employees will be notified and appropriate steps taken to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable their health and safety and any financial impact.
  9. HCF employees are not generally currently subject to any KPI’s or “Scorecards” which would result in the loss of income. In respect of bonuses, we note that any award of a bonus is at HCF’s discretion, and no employee is automatically entitled to a bonus in any event. HCF will not be putting in place any amnesty. However, in undergoing performance reviews HCF will of course take appropriate consideration of the current pandemic and its impact on employees’ ability to achieve their KPIs.
  10. We confirm that appropriate social distancing measures are in place across our offices and branches, in accordance with Government and Department of Health advice and best practice.