Staff information

The following FAQs provide up to date information regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for UOW staff. If you have further questions or concerns that haven't been answered in these FAQs, you can contact UOW's staff coronavirus enquiry line on +61 2 4221 5902 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday or email employment-relations@uow.edu.au 

If we need to give you a call back, it is important that your personal details are up to date within Web Kiosk.

Students and staff at global campuses and teaching locations should follow the health advice of the country government and campus administration of which they are based.

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How to protect yourself & others

Returning to campus: COVID Safe Transition Plan

Since early 2020 UOW has seen research, teaching and work change in ways we’d never imagined possible due to COVID-19.

For more than a year now, staff members have stepped up to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with the safe easing of lockdowns and restrictions for vaccinated people, UOW can begin the gradual return of some in-person teaching and research activity. 

Our COVID Safe Transition Plan details a phased approach to restarting social connections, research, and critical teaching from October to the end of December 2021.

The safety of our staff, students and the community remains the guiding principle behind all decisions made at UOW; that is why our Plan aligns with the NSW Public Health Order and the Reopening NSW Roadmap. 

Access the UOW COVID Safe Transition Plan.

Frequently asked questions

Working remotely

The Research and Innovation Division (RaID) team, together with Faculties/AIIM and Workplace Health and Safety, have prepared Guidelines for undertaking essential research during current stay-at-home orders (PDF).

Please ensure that you familiarise yourself with these guidelines.

The guidelines may not provide clarity on all possible scenarios. We encourage you to discuss any areas of uncertainty with your supervisor, Head of School, Associate Dean (Research) or Executive Dean as appropriate.

Our team will continue consulting with staff and update these Guidelines as needed.

We also encourage researchers and HDR students to document the impact of COVID disruptions, using the staff reporting template.

The University will communicate with staff and students via email, the UOW website and intranet, social media, printed publications and the MyUOW App.

For more information about coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit the University’s Coronavirus response webpage, or NSW Health.

Download the University’s MyUOW App to your device to stay connected with what is happening at UOW.

For any questions not covered by the above information sources, please speak to your manager/supervisor.

You will need to self-isolate if you have a COVID-19 test, are diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

The NSW Government website has the most up-to-date information and guidance regarding self-isolation.

If you have been self-isolating at home as per NSW Health guidance, and have no symptoms of respiratory illness after the 14 day isolation period has ended, you do not need a medical certificate to return to work. This is consistent with NSW Health guidance.

If you need to self-isolate, notify your supervisor as soon as possible in the first instance.

Staff and managers should contact their HR Business Partner with any questions about leave arrangements. Alternatively, work from home arrangements can be discussed with your supervisor and arranged if appropriate.

As per the UOW-COVID-19 Return to Campus roadmap, staff are to work on campus in line with their area’s COVID Safe Plan. Requests to work remotely are to be considered in accordance with medical advice, completion of a risk assessment and UOW Agile Work Guidelines. This includes vulnerable persons (or carers of).

For other information regarding working remotely and ergonomics, please see Safe@Work – health and safety and working remotely.

Staff should contact their immediate supervisor or manager if they have concerns about their workload and what measures can be put in place to resolve the issue.

Through this time, priority and allocation of resources may change. A number of staff have been preparing the University to ensure we are able to support our students and staff through this challenging time.

Some of these preparations have taken staff away from their usual duties, and work loads of some have been re-prioritised to facilitate the university’s comprehensive response. 

Our priority since the pandemic started has been to make decisions that protect the health and safety of our staff and students. The University has continued to operate in a CovidSafe way in accordance with NSW Health as new cases are identified.

Staff can find more information on the safe return to campus on the Intranet.

The most up-to-date information regarding staff travel can be located in the UOW COVID-19 Return to Campus Roadmap and NSW Government website.

I have cold and flu like symptoms, do I need a Covid Test?

Anyone displaying even mild symptoms of respiratory diseases similar to a cold or flu is required to get tested at a COVID-19 Test Facility. For more information, please see NSW Health's COVID-19 clinics page.

COVID-safe workplace

Facilities Management Division (or equivalent at your campus) will undertake a check on these resources each day. If it is noticed that stock is low, please notify the FMD Service Centre on 4221 3217 or email fm-service-centre@uow.edu.au.

There are generic Covid Safe Plans completed for the University to follow for these areas: 

A Research Covid Safe Plan is required to be completed for any research activity. Previously approved Research Covid Safe Plans will be required to be updated as there are new requirements. 

Covid Safe Plan is required to be completed for any events.

Covid Safe Plans are also to be prepared for other activities on campus such as Science Space, Discovery Centre, UniActive and food outlets.

Mask wearing is still a Public Health Order requirement (NSW Health: Face mask rules)

Mask wearing indoors will cease 1 December 2021 unless notified otherwise notified.

If you have a medical exemption or a statutory declaration exempting you from wearing a mask, you do not have to wear a mask indoors.  You may be asked if you would like to work in an isolated area for your safety and the safety of others.  The University has badges available for you to wear if you have an exemption.  Please get in touch with the Facilities Management Service Centre or Library Concierge for further information.

Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses.

  • Clean your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue, or a flexed elbow.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Practice cough etiquette (keep away from other people, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing), and clean your hands.
  • Practice social distancing wherever possible, that is stay 1.5 metres away from others.
  • Stay home if you are unwell.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and communities are our paramount concern and the University is taking a range of measures as guided by the Australian Government and NSW Health to protect them.

The team led by the Chief Operating Officer continue to work towards a phased return and safe pathway of staff and students to our campuses in 2021.

If you are a staff member who requires support, please contact the University’s Employee Assistance Program a free and confidential counselling service available 24/7 by calling 1300 361 008.

An Australian government hotline has also been established to assist international students with questions or concerns relating to their study and novel coronavirus (COVID-19):

You can also access mental health support:

Be mindful that various conditions can produce cold or flu-like symptoms.

People can have normal cold and flu viruses at any time, and we are moving closer to the Australian flu season so these may increase.

It is reasonable to check on the welfare of the staff or student and ensure that they are aware of the latest health advice.

If they present as unwell and have cold and flu-like symptoms, follow the steps provided in the Concerned about someone’s welfare document (PDF).

Vaccination

The NSW Government has announced that vaccination requirements for various activities are in place until 1 December. In line with the NSW Government’s Road Map, staff, students and visitors attending UOW Campuses will be required to be fully vaccinated (double dose) or exempt to attend UOW campuses for certain activities while NSW Vaccination rates are at 70 and 80%

The University encourages everyone that is able to take up COVID-19 vaccination for the following reasons as outlined by the World Health Organisation:

  1. Vaccination enables protection against COVID-19, as a result of developing an immune response to the virus.
  2. Developing immunity through vaccination means there is a reduced risk of developing the illness and its consequences.
  3. Getting vaccinated may also help the people you come in contact with, because if you are protected from getting infected, you are less likely to infect someone else.

Additionally, the University has requirements under work health and safety laws to make the workplace and learning environment as safe as reasonably possible which includes reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission via vaccination as well as other risk controls.

The best way to do this is to link your vaccination certificate with the Service NSW app on a smartphone. When you check into the campus facility you are using the green tick with hologram means you meet the vaccination requirements.  Follow these instructions on how to link your vaccination certificate the Service NSW app

Other ways of showing proof of vaccination include:

  • Service NSW app
  • digital wallet (Apple or Android)
  • Express Plus Medicare mobile app
  • Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) service through myGov
  • My Health Record
  • immunisation history statement (paper version)
  • file downloaded to your device.

If you can't get proof online, your vaccination provider can print your immunisation history statement for you. You can also call the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) on 1800 653 809 (8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) and ask for a paper version of your COVID-19 digital certificate or your immunisation history statement to be posted to you. It can take up to 14 days to arrive in the post.

If you don’t have a smartphone please have a copy of your vaccination certificate with you.

 

The University encourages all staff to consider getting the COVID-19 vaccination as per the eligibility rules. There are some roles that will require a COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the University’s duty of care to its staff.

For more information, please refer to the Immunisation Guidelines (PDF).

There are valid and legitimate medical reasons not to have the vaccine.  If you are in this category, the University will investigate other risk controls to keep you and others safe on campus. This may also require you to work involve working or learning remotely while the vaccine requirement is in place.  Staff should discuss this with their supervisor to develop a plan.

If you’re unable to be vaccinated because of a medical contraindication (which means a person should not receive a certain medicine because it may be harmful to them), you can add the COVID-19 digital certificate for your medical contraindication to the Service NSW app in the same way as proof of vaccination. 

You can also download or print a copy of your certificate, or get a vaccine medical contraindication form signed by your doctor and carry it with you.

A risk assessment can be conducted to determine suitable risk controls for those that are unvaccinated and required to conduct essential work or research on campus.  Call the WHS Unit on 4221 3931 to discuss this further.

The NSW Government announced that vaccination requirements for various activities are in place until 1 December 2021. The University will review the health advice at this time and update its transition plan closer to this time.

The NSW Government is amending their QR Check-in Codes to enable a link to vaccination status.  Until this time when required, staff, students and visitors may be asked to present evidence of their vaccination status.

It is normal to have questions about the available COVID-19 vaccines and the process involved with vaccination. We have compiled a list of FAQ's to ensure that our community feel informed about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Australia.

We encourage you to rely on reputable sources of information to help you make informed decisions and stay up to date on the latest health advice and information relating to COVID-19 and vaccines. 

Reputable information about vaccines is available from: 

Visit the Covid-19 Vaccine Eligibility website.

Please visit the UOW Vaccination Information page.

UOW is providing up to one day of paid leave to recover from any adverse effects of vaccination, in addition to current sick leave entitlements.

For more information including how to lodge this leave, please see the Paid leave for COVID-19 vaccination guideline (PDF) on the staff intranet.

Staff are encouraged to find out when and where they can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, book an appointment if eligible or register interest.

Staff may utilise flexible working arrangements or sick leave for time required to travel to and from a vaccine appointment if necessary. 

Research

Once NSW reaches 70% vaccination rate all research can recommence in line with Public Health Order Requirements e.g. travel restrictions. A Research Covid Safe Plan is required to be submitted and approved by your supervisor.

Yes, so long as the researcher and participant are both double vaccinated and following any other requirements in the relevant Research Covid Safe Plan.

This can be done by sighting their verified Covid Safe QR Code Check in (when established by Service NSW) or sighting their vaccination record. A copy of the person’s vaccination record is not required.

Vaccination Information for International Students in Australia

Under the Australian Government's COVID-19 vaccination policy, vaccination is free for international students currently studying in Australia.

You don't need a Medicare card to book an appointment, or to receive your vaccination at a Commonwealth Vaccination Clinic. If you would like a record of your COVID-19 vaccination, you will need to set up a MyGov account and apply for an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) - please refer to the detailed information below. 

International students can check their eligibility for vaccination and make a decision about receiving either the AstraZeneca vaccine or Pfizer vaccine.

On 28 June the Federal Government announced that anyone under 40 can now request the AstraZeneca vaccine from their local general practitioner, following an appropriate assessment of suitability by a general practitioner. The AstraZeneca vaccine is available at Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics, participating general practices, Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Services, and state-run vaccination clinics.

To ensure that you have a valid record of your COVID-19 vaccination, you will need to use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker to find out when and where you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, including your second dose. You can do this via the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Make sure that you only book your COVID-19 vaccination via this website. This will ensure that it is free, and you are booked into a Commonwealth Vaccination Clinic.

You will be required to set up a MyGov online account and apply for an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) in order to receive a record of your vaccination.

When you get your COVID-19 vaccine, your health provider will make a record of it on the Australian Immunisation Register. If you're not eligible for Medicare, you can still get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination.

You will need to have your passport with your valid Student Visa ready. The first step is to create your myGov account.

Once you have created your myGov account, you can apply online for your Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI). Follow these steps to get an IHI online:

  1. Sign in to your myGov account that you have created
  2. Click on 'services' or 'link your first service'
  3. Select 'IHI service' from the list.
  4. Follow the steps to create your IHI.

 

 

Once you have completed this process, you can attend a Commonwealth Vaccination Clinic and the health provider will make a record of your vaccination on the Australian Immunisation Register. Any time that you need to provide a record or proof of your COVID-19 vaccination, this information will be available on your myGov account.

Please note: You do not require an IHI or myGov account if you do not require a record of your vaccination. 

The Department of Health has information on the COVID-19 vaccines available in 63 languages .

The National Coronavirus Helpline, 1800 020 080, operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is available to anyone in Australia who would like more information on anything COVID-19-related. For translating and interpreting services call 131 450.

The International Student Coronavirus Helpline, 1300 981 621 operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is available for International students.