Statement updated 03/23/2020
PA reassures its customers that it has put in place such systems, policies and procedures to minimise the impact of disruptions to our ability to continue providing uninterrupted services to our clients and any disruptions to our supply chain.
PA has conducted successful business continuity testing to ensure our operational effectiveness from all locations. In the event of access to our locations being affected, our testing has included full remote operation.
As of today, PA has implemented remote working for all employees and are fully functional and access to our offices is still possible. Our customers continue to be fully supported, by the same teams that were in place before the COVID-19 emergency commenced.
The COVID-19 virus originated in mainland China. Since the original outbreak, cases have been identified in other countries. The general advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) is that countries should introduce such measures as to minimise the spread of the virus and to contain cases where they exist.
PA has a duty of care to its employees and an obligation to provide a safe working environment. It is in this context that this response statement has been prepared to provide direction for the protection of PA’s employees and its business from the potentially far reaching impact of the spread of the COVID-19 virus which may result from visiting areas which have increased incidents of the COVID-19 virus.
PA obtains its advice in preparation of our response on an ongoing basis from International SOS, which is a worldwide medical & travel security services company, the Australian, USA and UK Governments, and the World Health Organisation.
This response statement may be updated from time to time as the situation develops and as new advice is obtained.
Designated country is a country with Travel Advisory status of "Do Not Travel" or "Reconsider Need to Travel" and "Exercise a High Degree of Caution" as issued by the Australian Government, "smartraveller" (reference : https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/coronavirus-covid-19)
Isolation Period is defined as: 14 days from the date of departure from a Designated Country.
- Employees who have completed overseas trips in the past 14 days:
- Those who have returned from a Designated Country in the past 14 days must declare their status and voluntarily stay away from the office and must not visit any clients until a 14 day Isolation Period has been completed. Isolation means that they must not enter any PA premises.
- Those who have returned from other destinations in the past 14 days (particularly from Asian countries with proximity to a Designated Country) must self-declare if they have any flu like symptoms. If they do display any symptoms, they must obtain advice from their doctor as to whether they remove themselves from the workplace, and follow such advice and formally notify PA.
- Employees who have household members returning from a designated country
- If an employee has household members who have returned from a designated country and are subject to government imposed self-isolation:
- There are currently no government rules that affect the employees to go about their business as usual.
- those employees may still come to work and visit clients.
- those employees must maintain social distancing and good hygiene practices at home to minimise the risk of infection of the Covid-19 virus.
- Future business overseas trips
- PA will not approve any business trips to a Designated Country.
- Travellers to any other destinations must undertake such reasonable precautions to minimise their exposure - increased personal hygiene such as hand washing and use of hand sanitisers.
- Be alert to other travellers who may display flu like symptoms and stay away.
- Familiarise themselves with and follow any official travel advice issues by a health authority such as WHO and the Australian Government.
- Future leisure trips already booked and paid to a Designated Country as at 1 March 2020
- Whilst PA cannot prescribe use of personal time, PA owes a duty of care to its employees, its clients and its business as a whole.
- Travellers must re-consider their travel arrangements with a view to cancelling these.
- Travellers will be subject to a mandatory Isolation Period after their return and plan for working from home.
- Following the isolation period travellers must obtain clearance from their doctor.
- Travellers must self-declare if they display any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus or if they have in fact been diagnosed with the virus, in which case their return to work will be subject to a medical certificate declaring them clear of the virus prior to returning to the office or visiting any client.
- Future leisure trips to a Designated Country (whether designated as at 1 March 2020 or any later date) not yet booked
- Travellers must declare their intentions to PA.
- Travellers are advised not to proceed with their arrangements.
- Travellers who go ahead with their trips are advised that they must plan for mandatory isolation and must put in annual leave or PTO for that isolation period.
- Following the isolation period travellers must obtain clearance from their doctor before returning to PA or Client sites. The clearance must be submitted to the payroll team.
- Visitors to PA premises
- People visiting PA must be asked by their host, wherever possible, prior to their visit as whether they have been to a designated country in the past 14 days. If yes, then they must not visit our offices and alternative arrangements must be sought for the meeting, such as Teams meetings.
- PA Employees visiting clients
- Our preferred method of delivering services is to do so remotely.
- Where the work must be done on site and employees are concerned about visiting a client, they may ask the client whether they have their own COVID-19 Response Statement (or similar) or whether any of the client employees with whom the PA employee will be meeting has been to a designated country. If yes, then they may request to do work remotely.
- Personal Hygiene
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick (try to keep a distance of at least six (6) feet).
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with the crook of your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, including your desk environment, using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and throughout the day.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.