Frequently asked questions - COVID-19 management and vaccination policy for DCJ service providers
This FAQ will be updated regularly. We have a number of other questions we’ve received from the sector that we’re seeking advice on and will include here shortly. Make sure you read the COVID-19 management and vaccination policy for DCJ service providers.
Implementing the policy - FAQs
Make sure you read the COVID-19 management and vaccination policy for DCJ service providers (the policy).
Does the policy apply to my organisation?
The policy applies to organisations who are funded to provide services on behalf of DCJ. It’s part of your contractual obligations.
It also applies to registered community housing providers that receive assistance from DCJ via a community housing agreement.
It doesn’t apply to you if you only receive grant(s) from DCJ.
What do we need to do to implement the policy?
The policy covers this in detail. In short, you’ll need to:
- undertake a thorough risk assessment (see section 5 of the policy for more details), and
- develop and implement a COVID-19 management plan (see section 6 of the policy for more details).
When do we need to have completed the COVID-19 management plan and risk assessments?
You need to complete your plan, including risk assessments, by 22 December 2021.
How do I lodge my COVID-19 management plan?
We’ll email you and ask you to confirm that you’ve completed your COVID-19 management plan. You don’t have to lodge your plan with us.
Will DCJ be checking if service providers comply with the policy?
We’ll email service providers in January 2022 to confirm your management plans have been completed. You’ll need to respond within 1 week.
What happens if I haven’t done my COVID-19 management plan by 22 December 2021?
Under the Agreement you signed with DCJ, you must comply with notified policies issued by DCJ. The COVID-19 management and vaccination policy is a notified policy.
You’ll be in breach of your Agreement with DCJ if you don’t have a management plan in place by 22 December 2021.
Talk to your contract manager if don’t think you’ll meet the 22 December 2021 deadline.
We want help to develop our management plan, or with the risk assessment process. Do you have templates and tools?
We’re developing sector support, including guidance material and optional templates, seminars and access to some advisory services, to help you to undertake the risk assessment and develop your COVID-19 management plan. We’re developing this in partnership with peak organisations.
We’ll let you know when this support is available. Information will be regularly updated on the website.
We’re sharing the risk assessment tools DCJ used for its own risk assessments. These are on the website.
You don’t have to use a prescribed template for your risk assessment or your COVID-19 management plan.
How often do I need to review and update my COVID-19 management plan?
The plan must be reviewed and updated regularly. Given the changing nature of the pandemic, you should update your plan if new risks emerge or public health advice changes. You should also schedule regular reviews. Section 6.3 of the policy tells you what you need to do to update your plan.
I work for a large organisation, which has multiple funding streams. Who needs to complete my plan?
You should already have completed a lot of the work that makes up the COVID-19 management plan, including the NSW Government COVID Safety plan and a business or service continuity plan.
If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to do a risk assessment for each service setting, and a plan to respond to each risk in day-to-day business.
You can decide if it’s best for your organisation to have one overarching COVID-19 management plan with multiple risk assessments, or smaller management plans for different programs or funding streams (for example within DCJ or funding from other agencies) service settings or worksites.
Does my COVID-19 management plan need to specify differences for different programs and sites?
You’ll need to do a risk assessment for each service setting, and a plan to respond to each risk in day-to-day business. You can decide if it’s best for your organisation to have one overarching plan with multiple risk assessments, or smaller plans for different sites.
Do we need a COVID Safety plan and a COVID-19 management plan?
Your NSW Government COVID Safety plan forms part of your COVID-19 management plan. The COVID-19 management plan has additional requirements to the COVID Safety plan. Section 6 of the policy outlines everything your plan needs to include.
There are different COVID Safety plans for different industries with different requirements. Which one should we use in our management plan?
Use the COVID Safety plan(s) that best applies to your service setting or use the general plan. For example, if you operate a community hall, you could use the gyms and indoor recreation COVID-19 Safety plan.
Do I still need to include my COVID-19 Safety Plan in my COVID-19 management plan after 15 December 2021?
The NSW Government is making COVID-19 Safety Plans optional for businesses and organisations from 15 December 2021.
While no longer a requirement, we encourage you have COVID-19 Safety Plans in place as part of your COVID management plan, as informed by risk assessment.
What do we need to do in our plan for people with disability?
Amendments made to the Public Health (COVID-19 Care Services) Order 2021 on the 14 October 2021 mean that workers who provide services to people with disability must be vaccinated. NSW Health has published FAQs in relation to this Public Health Order.
If you have workers with disability and they are at greater risk from COVID-19, this must be considered in your risk assessment and addressed in your risk control measures.
If people with disability have a medical exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine, see the FAQ question “what if a worker can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons?”
Does the policy apply to our foster carers or relative/kin carers?
No. Foster carer and relative/kin carers are not considered ‘workers’ under the policy.
What do the changes to the Public Health Orders on 15 December 2021 and 23 December 2021 mean for our COVID-19 management plan?
On 15 December 2021, the NSW Government eased restrictions on density limits, face masks, QR codes and proof of vaccination to enter premises.
Some restrictions on face masks and QR codes were brought back on 23 December 2021.
Regardless of Public Health Orders, you can still choose make it a condition of entry to your premises that people wear face masks in your COVID-19 management plan. NSW Health advises people to get vaccinated, and wear a face mask where they cannot socially distance.
You can still ask people about their vaccination status if it’s in your COVID-19 management plan. See also the question Do services need to ask clients or other people, for example contractors, if they are vaccinated when they enter its premises? in this FAQ for more advice.
You still need to use a QR code for staff and visitors residential facilities and hostels. Residents don’t need to check in.