COVID-19 Situation Forces Staff Stand Downs
April 20, 2019
The ongoing temporary closure of Bluewater, COPACC and other Council facilities has forced Colac Otway Shire to regretfully start standing down staff.
Colac Otway Chief Executive Peter Brown said, like all communities, it was a difficult time for Colac Otway, particularly for those who were dealing with job losses – as an employee or an employer.
“There are businesses across our shire that have been forced to close, and employees who have no work.
“Despite COVID-19 restrictions and challenging conditions, many Council services are still being delivered however some operations are not permitted.
“Council has given notice to staff at Bluewater, COPACC and the Visitor Information Centres, that subject to any redeployment possibilities, they will be stood down from April 27.
“This is a difficult decision for this Council and while we have been able to continue employing people in these venues while there was productive and useful work to be undertaken, those roles will end until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
The loss of revenue at COPACC and Bluewater is significantly affecting our budget and, like Councils around the state where certain work has largely ceased, such as the Visitor Information Centres, we need to begin to stand people down.
“We currently have 50 casuals that are no longer receiving shifts, so effectively have been stood down until work in those areas resumes.
“There are now 10 school crossing supervisor’s fully or partially stood down from yesterday.
“We have advised 34 employees that they will be stood down from next Monday 27 April unless they are redeployed. Which we are working through now, and should know more specific numbers for stand down at the end of the week.
“There are also a further 29 volunteers who temporarily also have no positions with the shire at the moment however no employees have been terminated.
“We are strongly focused on supporting our impacted employees during this time, and looking at all redeployment opportunities, particularly because Council staff do not qualify for COVID-19 Jobkeeper packages.
Council is continuing to work with the State Government to put together a package where we might be able to find temporary redeployment for our staff and other people who have lost their jobs in Colac Otway.
Council has submitted an application through the Working For Victoria program which we hope will create work in the community for a six-month period.