Jenny Gale, Head of the State Service, message to all staff

COVID-19 Update (07 Apr 2020)

To: All Tasmanian State Servants

Dear colleagues

COVID-19 Update

I want to take the opportunity to thank you for the incredible efforts being put in across all agencies to support each other and our community through the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud to be leading the Tasmanian State Service and I acknowledge the commitment and contribution being made in what I know is a challenging time.

As you may be aware, recently the Premier made the very clear statement that, wherever possible, State Servants should work from home. Agencies have been working to support employees to transition to working from home arrangements as far as practicable, remembering that there are some employees that will need to continue working from the office or their worksite and that these workplaces remain safe.

A range of new guides have been developed to support managers and employees as we transition to increased working from home arrangements and increased numbers of teams that are dispersed and working virtually as a result. The guides include information relevant to: Working remotely: a guide for employees; Managing employees remotely: a guide for managers; Staying connected: a guideline for teams; and Health and wellbeing: tips and resources and are available here. These guides will be living documents and will be updated with additional information and resources as and when necessary. Accordingly, it is best to access them through the website, rather than print hard copies, to make sure you are getting the most accurate and up to date information.

I also want to take this opportunity to share the most recent advice provided by the Government with respect to public schools. Many of you may be aware, late last week the Deputy Premier and Minister for Education advised the commencement of Term 2 for public schools will now be Tuesday 28 April 2020. Monday 27 April 2020 will now be a student free planning day. Additionally, the Minister advised home learning will continue for most students for Term 2 however, as is the case currently, if your circumstances mean you are unable to support and supervise your child’s learning at home, a safe learning environment will be provided at their school. Government school sites will reopen on Tuesday 28 April 2020 for teachers to support student learning both in the home and at school.

I reiterate that as State Servants we deliver a range of important functions that are critical at this time to support essential government and community services. Given the speed at which the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we may need to work differently or in changed roles and I know this is happening in many agencies already both through our whole of government interoperability arrangements as well as within and across agencies. This means that we all need to remain flexible and willing to pitch in when we are asked to, so that we are continuing to support our colleagues and stakeholders, especially in those key areas which are under significant additional pressure.

Once again I thank you for your ongoing efforts and look forward to your continued commitment and support.

Jenny Gale Signature block
Jenny Gale
Head of the State Service
Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet
07 Apr 2020