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ABRI Member Bulletin ~ April 2020 ~ Dealing with Coronavirus Copy

Topics Covered

  1. Government response to ABRI’s Coronavirus letter
  2. COVID-19 funding support for business
  3. Accessing ABRI support to manage online meetings in light of isolation and lockdown requirements
  4. Updating management systems to address the new reality
  5. Review of procedures in light of COVID-19 risk
  6. Importance of paying attention to our mental health in the context of Coronavirus
  7. Leadership in a time of crisis
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GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO ABRI'S CORONAVIRUS LETTER

ABRI has received responses from a number of government agencies in response to our letter regarding Coronavirus impacts on our industry including:

  • Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
  • NT Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics
  • QDES Department of Environment and Science
  • NSW Government
  • Victorian Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade

All confirm that hazardous waste and recycling services are considered essential.

READ OUR LETTER TO THE GOVERNMENTS OF AUSTRALIA
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COVID-19 FUNDING SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS

In response to our letter requesting confirmation that our industry is an essential service and requesting cash flow support, the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has assured us Government is very aware of the need to ensure that those who provide vital community infrastructure and services, remain operational for the benefit of the community.

In relation to our request for additional financial support we were advised the Government is enhancing the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure it announced on 12 March 2020. The Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not-for-profits (NFPs) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000.

The Government, the Reserve Bank of Australia, and the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority have taken coordinated action to ensure the flow of credit in the Australian economy.

For up to date information on support see the links below or call on 13 28 46.

COMMONWEALTH SUPPORT
ACT COVID-19 SUPPORT
NSW COVID-19 SUPPORT
NT COVID-19 SUPPORT
QLD COVID-19 SUPPORT
SA COVID-19 SUPPORT
VIC COVID-19 SUPPORT
TAS COVID-19 SUPPORT
WA COVID-19 SUPPORT
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ACCESSING ABRI SUPPORT TO MANAGE ONLINE MEETINGS IN LIGHT OF ISOLATION AND LOCKDOWN REQUIREMENTS

As we transition to working in isolation many work places are for the first time moving to online meetings and team management.  ABRI will now be offering consulting support to members to establish procedures, training, mentoring and/or facilitation of online meetings.

If you need support in this area give Libby a call to scope out your needs and obtain a quote suitable for your organisation.

Considerations when establishing online meeting process include:

  1. what is the best software packages to use – Microsoft Teams, Zoom, GotoMeeting, or GotoTraining?
  2. how do we work effectively together in a remote situation?
  3. how can we encourage different personality types to engage in online formats?
  4. how do we manage projects online?
  5. how do we use online tools to support workers?
  6. how do we manage the conversation online to make sure we achieve our meeting objectives?
  7. what is the best way to structure our online meeting agenda?
  8. how do we use online tools to keep motivated and productive?
  9. how do we capture online meeting outcomes?
  10. how do we monitor meeting outcomes over time?

If we can help with any of these questions as you transition to the online environment, let us know!

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UPDATING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS TO ADDRESS NEW CORONAVIRUS REALITY

If your organisation has an ISO 14001, AS 5377, or other management, now is the time to be thinking about updating your system elements in light of the Coronavirus. The following is a list of items that would typically need to be reviewed in response to such a significant change.

  1. Update your Legal Obligations and Requirements to reflect changes arising from Coronavirus, for example it is time to review your obligations relating to:
    • customer contracts
    • safe work requirements, including mental health requirements
    • privacy, especially online meeting confidentiality
    • physical distancing
    • employees with coronavirus
    • workplace hygiene
  2. Review Risk and Hazard Assessments to cover the items above especially.
  3. Review your 2020 Objectives – you may need to revise schedules, revamp objectives to reflect the current realities or in some cases, objectives need to be redirected or replaced.  You might consider adding or expanding training objectives related to workplace hazards or environmental aspects.
  4. Review and update operational procedures, business risks and plans.
  5. Track and respond to incidents if employees have contracted the virus.
  6. Conduct an unscheduled management review to manage the risk.
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REVIEW OF PROCEDURES IN LIGHT OF COVID-19 RISK

As a result of COVID-19, it is a responsibility of organisations to update policies and procedures. ABRI will now be offering support to members on a consulting basis.   If you have a need for assistance in reviewing or updating your procedures, give Libby a call to scope your needs and obtain a quote suitable for your organisation.   For example, it may be necessary to update or introduce new procedures for:

  • business continuity
  • social and physical distancing at work
  • risk assessment procedures and tools for those working from home – in particular, to assess health and safety (including mental health) and data security
  • data and privacy compliance
  • review of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • online meeting protocols
  • work from home protocols
  • updated travel policies
  • managing workers with suspected or confirmed Coronavirus
  • central point of contact for support – health and finance
  • contingency plans if a worker tests positive for COVID-19
  • preventing the spread of coronavirus
  • physical distancing if interacting with customers
  • essential travel
  • workplace hygiene

Safework Australia has some useful tools to help think through the issues.

 

SAFEWORK AUSTRALIA
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IMPORTANCE OF PAYING ATTENTION TO OUR MENTAL HEALTH IN THE CONTEXT OF CORONAVIRUS

We all know that taking care of mental health is important – not just because we are all in this together, but also because it is a legal responsibility for employers, and is critical for business continuity and efficiency.  The Australian Institute for Company Directors this week produced a timely article on the need for mental health on the agenda of Board meetings over the coming months.

The seriousness of the Coronavirus crisis requires boards and management to establish, validate or improve their performance in relation to protecting mental health.  Things to consider:

  • communication is key – keeping people informed
  • providing employees opportunities for debriefing
  • ensuring employees exhibiting stress have their privacy protected
  • promotion of good mental health practices
  • providing access to support services

The ACT Government has created a useful website focused on mental health in light of COVID-19.

CHECK OUT THE ACT MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT WEBSITE
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LEADERSHIP IN A TIME OF CRISIS

A recent article about NZ Prime Minister Jacinta Adern also highlighted three communication skills every leader needs: “direction-giving”, “meaning-making” and “empathy” in a time of crisis. It is worth keeping this in mind when preparing and approving corporate communications as we adapt to the Coronavirus reality.

Regular communication with these three elements will go a long way to protecting mental health and motivating employees to stay on track with business objectives and performance as they adapt to changes and working in isolation.

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LET US KNOW IF WE CAN ASSIST!

ABRI sees the importance of supporting members as this new climate evolves.  Please let us know if this newsletter was helpful or if there are other things we can do to assist the industry and members to weather this storm.

 

 

ABRI
Email   secretariat@batteryrecyling.org.au
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