This week’s recap of COVID-19 related staff communications

Each week we recap all-staff communications related to DEW’s COVID-19 response from the previous week. You can access these communications in full on the COVID-19 page (internal access only) of the DEW Staff Hub

Please note that Citrix access is not required to access the DEW Staff Hub.

Here’s a recap of last week’s all-staff communications:

CE News 16 September 2020:

In his most recent update, Chief Executive John Schutz described that we will begin a safe, orderly and staged transition back to worksites from Monday 21 September. The transition of more staff back to our worksites will be leader led and will look different for each branch and team.

Some weeks ago, your leaders worked with you and your managers to develop a plan that enabled your teams to return to worksites in a COVID Safe way. There has been much to consider, including health and safety, staff wellbeing and personal circumstances, COVID restrictions, business continuity planning, business needs, and team connectivity. Leaders will implement those plans, starting from Monday 21 September. Consistent with our approach to date, staff who identify as vulnerable should continue to work with their manager on COVID Safe work practices for themselves. You can find out more in the update, which can be found on the COVID-19 page (internal access only).

COVID-19 Update 17 September 2020:

To ensure the return to worksites process is safe and efficient for us all, the following information was shared.

New workplace norms

We must all take the necessary precautions to protect our own health and that of the people we work with. It’s important that you familiarise yourself with our COVID Safe worksite principles that have been put in place to keep us all safe at our worksites. These new norms are listed below and covered in more detail in the DEW COVID Safe worksites FAQs:

  • Wherever possible, maintain a distance of 1.5m between you and other staff.
  • Signs will be displayed showing the capacity limits in shared areas such as kitchens and lifts and meeting spaces, and need to be adhered to.
  • If you share a desk or use a ‘hot desk’, you must clean the desk with the cleaning materials available on site before use.
  • Your manager will continue to track your working arrangements and work location daily. Your location of work will be largely fixed, and one location for each staff member is preferred. To ensure we comply with social distancing requirements, if you are designated as working from home, you won’t be able to attend the workplace on an impromptu basis and must do so only with the express permission of your manager.
  • Using technology (email, phone, Teams) will continue to be the preferred method of meeting, even with colleagues located within your worksite. Face to face meetings are only to be held where there is an essential business need and where social distancing and room capacity limits can be adhered to. Before holding a face to face meeting, staff must discuss with their Leader why the meeting is essential.
  • As we return to worksites, some staff may choose to wear a mask for personal reasons. While wearing a mask is not compulsory in South Australia, if you wear a mask it is important to do so correctly so that the mask is effective in protecting you. The Australian Government Department of Health has shared this video on how to wear a mask correctly.

ICT support

The ICT Support Centre is the first contact point for ICT assistance and can be contacted on 8204 9044. ICT support will be provided remotely in the first instance and wherever possible. If onsite support is required, this will be booked in with staff. Staff must not approach the ICT support area without a pre-arranged booking.

All ICT equipment must be sanitised prior to providing to the ICT Branch for troubleshooting and repairs. Equipment will be re-sanitised before being returned to staff.

ICT equipment for staff returning to worksites

Staff returning to work onsite must bring back all ICT equipment taken home during COVID-19 restrictions. Staff are responsible for the safe manual handling and setup of all ICT equipment when returning to work onsite or setting up equipment at home.

If equipment is missing upon your return, please raise this with your manager. All managers were required to document equipment taken for WFH purposes. Replacement equipment can be procured through the ICT portal which is now open. Please note that DEW will not reimburse staff for ICT equipment purchased privately, and ICT equipment must not be purchased on departmental purchase cards. 

Returning staff should attempt to set up their own workstation. Guides (including videos) to help you can be found on the ICT page of the DEW Staff Hub. Staff returning to Waymouth Street should stagger their return over the following dates where additional support will be available to assist them to set up their workstations (mounting monitors and arms, cable management etc.) on 21, 22, 28 and 29 September between 9am and 12pm.

Laptops and computers that have not been on the DEW network for several months will begin updating once connected. This may result in required restarts and slowness. Be please mindful of this delay when returning and if urgent work is due, consider coming in early or staying home until completed.

ICT equipment for staff continuing to work from home

If you will be continuing to work mostly from home, you can continue to use your current ICT equipment for now. Please note that staff are to only have one set of ICT equipment, and will need to bring your laptop or ‘hotdesk’ if you attend a worksite.

If additional equipment is required for staff to continue to work from home, it must be procured through the ICT portal. Given the high demand on ICT equipment, there may be waiting periods associated with the delivery of these items. DEW will not reimburse staff for ICT equipment purchased privately. ICT equipment must not be purchased on departmental purchase cards. 

Microsoft Teams meetings at worksites

We have all adapted – with some frustrations and humorous moments – to meeting via Teams. We are working on making the meeting rooms in Waymouth Street compatible with Microsoft Teams, and will keep you updated.

Please be tolerant as we all adjust to this new way of working. We know Teams meetings can be noisy when taken at your desk. To reduce disruption to those working near you, when attending Teams meetings please use meeting rooms where possible, or use headsets, or use Teams on your smartphone using earphones.

ICT will continue to order recommended headsets and web cameras that have been tested for use with Teams. If you need a headset, please submit this on the ICT Self Service Portal. Headsets will be distributed in a prioritised manner as available. It is anticipated that the wait will be about a week, noting there are currently global supply shortages and purchase limitations for this equipment. If you need to wait, feel free to use your smartphone with earphones or bring in your own headset.

Ensuring you are contactable wherever you are working

During this first stage, not all staff will be accessible via their usual desk phones. To ensure you are contactable, all staff are asked to add a link in your signature block so that people can call you easily using Teams. This is quick and easy to do – you can find instructions here.

Access cards reminder

Staff who are returning to worksites for the first time in a while are reminded that they will need to bring with them their access pass. If you have lost your access pass, please log an access card replacement request through the accommodation portal before you return to allow the accommodation team time to organise a new pass.

COVID-19 reporting

While every precaution will be taken, we must remain prepared for the possibility that there may be cases of COVID-19 at our worksites in the future, and be ready to respond appropriately. I remind you of the importance of notifying your manager immediately if you:

  • have come into close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19, or
  • are being tested for COVID-19, or
  • have tested positive for COVID-19.

If you are unwell, even mildly, you are not to attend any DEW worksite under any circumstances until you are fully recovered. I remind you that the protocol of what you and your manager are to do in these situations can be found on the DEW Staff Hub. DPC have also released a detailed protocol on self-isolation.


Please continue to check in and support each other. Should you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your manager in the first instance. DEW’s employee assistance program is also available to staff and their immediate families. For COVID-19 specific concerns, you can also call the government’s coronavirus 24/7 health information line on 1800 020 080.

You can find out more in the update, which can be found on the COVID-19 page (internal access only).