Services Australia is an essential service delivering key coronavirus support measures to communities across the nation.
Our role providing these services right now is critical and we continue to do this with the health and safety of our staff and customers being a top priority.
We are working closely with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services about six reports we received this week of staff from our Epping Service Centre testing positive.
None of those six staff have been in the office this week.
We became aware of the first case on Monday, 27 July, where the staff member had already been self-isolating since mid-last week. They have a back office role with no customer contact.
All staff in the service centre immediately went into isolation from Monday afternoon.
A deep clean was undertaken on Monday night and since yesterday, an entire new team of staff from other locations have been running the service centre.
Late yesterday we were advised of another four cases and this morning a further one – all from the group of staff currently in isolation.
These staff have not been at the site since last week, ranging from Tuesday 21 July to Friday, 24 July.
We are cooperating with DHHS as it investigates the cases and to gain an understanding of any customer contact that may have occurred.
We are confident the service centre is safe for customers and staff.
We are ensuring all staff have the right working environment to deliver these essential services. This includes following guidance from the Australian Department of Health in terms of social distancing, good hygiene practices, increased cleaning, minimal face-to-face meetings and restructured teams.
We have strong controls including entry screening, hand sanitiser access and polycarbonate screens in face-to-face service centres.
We’ve also made masks available to all Victorian staff in the workplace.
We’ll have further updates as soon as we are able.
In the meantime, we remind customers they don’t have to visit service centres.
People can do most of their business using our online services. This includes reporting income, uploading documents, claiming payments or telling us about a change in their circumstances.
Customers can also call us on their main payment line for prompt assistance.