Support available for staff impacted by bushfires

Many staff are feeling the emotional and physical stress of the South Australian bushfires. It is important that we take care of ourselves and support each other during this difficult time. 

You can help support others by recognising signs of strain, and reminding them about the availability of DEW’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), provided by Converge International. 

EAP is available to all staff and their immediate family members, 24/7. Staff may wish to consider sharing EAP contact information with their family members (1300 687 327). 

On-site counselling services are being made available at key regional sites – check with your manager to see if this is available in your area. 

Information about the EAP is available on iShare (internal access only) and includes a number of useful fact sheets. 

DEW CFS Brigade members, whether incident management, fire crew or operational support, can also access the CFS Stress Prevention and Management (SPAM) program for additional support. The SPAM Help Line is available to brigade members and their immediate family anytime by phone on 8115 3950. 

Leave provisions

Special leave may be available to staff who have taken leave because of the fires.

Employees who have or may need to take leave urgently due to being personally or seriously impacted by the fires should discuss leave provisions with their manager.

On a case-by-case basis, delegates (with people management delegations levels 1-3) may consider that it is reasonable to approve Special Leave with Pay where an employee is absent due to a situation of urgent necessity. Such situations are usually unavoidable and unforeseeable. This type of Special Leave with Pay is usually only approved for a short period (around one or two days – pro rata for part time employees – and subject to extension in exceptional circumstances) and is part of the special leave with pay provision that must not exceed 15 days per service year.

Given the volume of requests that the delegate may need to consider, employees should provide as much information as possible about their circumstances and their rationale for applying for leave so that their request may be considered.

Your manager can help you to complete your application via Timewise.    

In addition to these special leave types, employees may wish to access other leave entitlements available to them such as annual leave, long service leave, retention leave and where applicable, sick leave.

Please note that paid leave does not apply to casual employees. You can find more information on iShare (internal access only). 

Image provided by Natural Resources KI Communications & Media Manager Ross Evans