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We've prepared a list of answers to frequently asked questions to support our team members, clients and community to find reliable information during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We regularly review and update this information. If you have question or concern we haven't addressed please contact us.

General health advice

For information regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) we recommend you start with these sources of information:

  • COVID-19 resources: The resources listed on this page from the federal Department of Health include regularly updated government advice. The site covers rules for isolation, hygiene, social distancing and simple ads to show how to stop the spread of the virus. Updated frequently with version history so you can be confident it is the more recent advice.
  • Coronavirus health information hotline: Call 1800 020 080 (Australia wide) or 1800 675 398 (within Victoria)
  • For a summarised version of what you need to know about COVID-19: This guide from health.gov.au is a useful resource.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe. Some people recover easily, and others get very sick very quickly.

If you test positive you may experience:

  • fever
  • coughing
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath

Other symptoms include:

  • runny nose or congestion
  • headache or fatigue
  • muscle or joint pains
  • nausea or loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea or vomiting
  • temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste


For more information about symptoms, go to the Department of Health's website.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Vaccination

The state government has published its COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions which apply to our sector.

You can read the Public Health Order here.

The order confirms that we can only roster team members who have provided evidence that they’re vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a valid medical exemption.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Everyone aged over 30 is now eligible for a fourth dose, also known as a winter booster dose.

You can receive the booster dose three months after your last dose, or three months after a COVID-19 infection.

The additional booster dose will be a fifth dose for people who are severely immunocompromised, have an underlying health condition or disability.

All InLife staff must be fully vaccinated to work with clients (three doses).

There’s no discussion of a mandatory fourth dose at this stage.

Read the government’s latest statement for more information.

Last checked 3 October 2022

The COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions provide information on medical exemptions.

A person may be exempt from vaccination if they are unable to receive a dose, or a further dose, of a COVID-19 vaccine due to a medical contraindication or due to an acute medical illness (including where the person has been diagnosed with COVID-19).

Proof of an exemption

Requirements mean that only the Australian Immunisation Register medical exemption form can be used to provide proof of a medical exemption to any vaccination requirements in Victoria.

Who can approve an exemption?

A medical exemption can only be approved by an authorised practitioner listed below:

  • general practice registrars on an approved 3GA training placement
  • public health physicians
  • infectious disease physicians
  • clinical immunologists
  • paediatricians
  • GPs who are vocationally registered
  • GP who is a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • GP who is a fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine

If you have a valid medical exemption, please contact Julie in Human Resources for a confidential discussion. Email [email protected] or phone on 0407 673 107.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Yes. If you’ve had COVID-19 infection you can get vaccinated three months after your infection.

Government advice for people who have recovered from COVID-19 is the infection provides some natural immunity but will decrease over time. Vaccination is important to get maximum protection against further COVID-19 infection.

For more information, visit

Last checked 3 October 2022

There’s plenty of ways to book your third dose, there’s probably an appointment just around the corner from home. You can get your booster at:

If you need help uploading proof of your third vaccination or booking an appointment, our friendly Ops team is ready to help. Email [email protected].

Last checked 3 October 2022

Please speak with your InLife coordinator in the first instance.

If you, or anyone you know, needs assistance our HR team welcomes your call or email for a confidential discussion. You can contact Julie on [email protected] or 0407 673 107.

There are many reliable resources with information about COVID-19 vaccination. We encourage you to speak with your GP or visit the Department of Health's website.

If you want to discuss your feelings about mandatory vaccination you can also reach out to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for a confidential discussion on 1800 862 042. Our EAP offers free and confidential support 24/7.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Four vaccines have been approved for use in Australia: one manufactured by Pfizer, one by Moderna, one by AstraZeneca (also called VAXZEVRIA or the “Oxford vaccine”0) and one by Novavax (provisionally approved).

You can choose which vaccine you would like to receive.

To learn more about vaccines go to the Department of Health's website.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Yes! Our friendly Ops team are more than happy to help you. Email [email protected] or call 1800 INLIFE (1800 465 433).

We’ve also prepared a guide on how to upload your proof of vaccination to Employment Hero.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Yes! Our friendly Ops team would be more than happy to help you. Email them at [email protected] or call 1800 INLIFE (1800 465 433).

There are many ways to access a vaccination appointment:

  • Call 1800 675 398 or visit the vaccination hub portal.
  • Use HotDoc’s online booking system to search for and book an appointment at your nearest eligible GP.
  • Find your nearest pharmacy offering COVID-19 vaccinations. (This is a great option!)

Last checked 3 October 2022

The COVID-19 vaccine is available free to everyone living in Australia, even if you don’t have a Medicare card.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Yes. Although the risk is lower, you still need to protect yourself, our clients and coworkers. Getting tested is always the safest thing to do.

Last checked 3 October 2022

If you’ve had a COVID-19 vaccination, you’ll see this recorded on your immunisation history statement.

You can get your immunisation history statement using either:

  • your Medicare online account through myGov
  • Medicare mobile app.

If you can’t use Medicare online, your vaccination provider can print your immunisation history statement for you.

You can also call the Australian Immunisation Register and ask them to send your immunisation history statement to you. It can take up to 14 days to arrive in the post. You can then provide this statement to InLife.

Please see our proof of COVID-19 vaccination Q&A for further information.

Last checked 3 October 2022

You can find the latest details at the federal Department of Health's website.

You can also learn more about the rollout in Victoria.

Last checked 3 October 2022

It’s important you go to reputable sources for trusted information. Many websites can look official and important, but the information may not be reliable.

Look for a “.gov.au” on the end of a website url to know that you’re visiting an Australian government website. For example: health.gov.au

For the latest news and information on the vaccines being rolled out in Australia, start with the Department of Health’s website.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Working with clients

Masks are no longer required if you're working in a client's home, but are still recommended as a safety precaution.

If a client is comfortable with you removing your mask, you're welcome to take it off if you prefer.

Masks are still required if you're working indoors at care facilities, such as shared living. Anyone visiting an indoor area needs a mask, too.

Last checked 3 October 2022

We're regularly screening with RATs for everyone working in shared accommodation or concierge services, in line with government recommendations. If you’re working in these settings, we recommend you test using the RATs provided every Monday and Thursday.

If you do test positive, please contact your coordinator as soon as possible. They are available to support you throughout your isolation.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Sometimes. Assistants must wear a mask when working in a care facility. Masks are not required in a client’s home, but still recommended.

Read our quick reference guide of what PPE is required in different circumstances. If you need additional PPE, please contact your InLife Coordinator.

Watch this video for instructions on how to correctly don (put on) and doff (take off) a surgical face mask.

Please see our FAQ section on hygiene precautions for further information.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Do not go to a client’s home if you are feeling unwell. We ask you to consider whether you feel unwell before you leave for work each day and take your own temperature if you have a thermometer. In particular, report to your coordinator if you have the following symptoms prior to starting work or at any time while at work:

• Fever (temperature of 37.5°C or higher)

• Fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose and loss or change in sense of smell or taste

Staying home if you feel unwell combined with general hygiene and physical distancing is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will not be conducting temperature checks before entering a client’s home as temperature checks alone do not tell you whether a person has COVID-19. It is possible that a person may be asymptomatic or be on medication that reduces their temperature.

If you have any of the symptoms listed above, you need to get tested for COVID-19.

Last checked 3 October 2022

General cleaning is important for stopping the spread of COVID 19. After hand sanitisation on entering the house, you should aim to clean frequently touched surfaces before commencing your shift unless the client urgently needs assistance.

Coronaviruses can survive on surfaces for many hours but are readily inactivated by cleaning and disinfection.

Below is a guide for regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces:

  • Clean door handles, tabletops and light switches mechanically using detergent solutions (as per manufacturer's instructions) or detergent disinfectant wipes (so long as mechanical cleaning is achieved).
  • General surfaces and fittings should be cleaned when visibly soiled and immediately after any spillage.

If you notice the client does not have suitable cleaning products available, please contact your InLife coordinator.

Last checked 3 October 2022

If you are working with a client and they are unwell, you should:

  1. Call 000 for urgent medical help if the symptoms are serious, such as difficulty breathing
  2. Advise your client to put on a face mask, if they are not already wearing one.
  3. Support your client to get tested - either PCR or RAT. Visit the list of testing sites or call the Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) and follow the advice on how to assist the client to get tested.
  4. Contact your client's InLife coordinator to inform them the client has symptoms and any actions taken. The coordinator will provide further advice on what you need to do.

InLife has developed a rapid response protocol for our Coordinators to follow if a client is suspected of contracting the virus. This includes providing all PPE required to safely care for the client throughout their isolation and making sure that all assistants involved are aware of and trained in all procedures.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Excellent hand hygiene is one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Hand sanitiser should be used on entering and leaving the client’s home. We have secured ongoing supplies of hand sanitiser to be provided at clients’ houses, including travel size bottles for staff to use when needed in their daily activities.

Regular and thorough hand washing with soap and water should also occur throughout the shift. Gloves are only necessary for clients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, or for any personal care that requires the use of gloves. Gloves must be worn for care that may involve exposure to blood, body fluids, touching mucous membranes or non-intact skin.

For the latest advice on the PPE you need to wear while at work, please see this resource from DHHS, read our quick guide to PPE (updated March 2022) or check with your coordinator.

If you need any PPE please contact your Coordinator.

Some hand washing tips:

Watch this video from the WHO to learn the most effective way to ensure all parts of your hands are clean following application of hand sanitiser or after washing with soap and water.

This video from John Hopkins Hospital also provides an example of how to properly wash your hands.

Please also see our FAQs about wearing masks.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection

If you are working with a client and they are unwell, you should:

  1. Call 000 for urgent medical help if the symptoms are serious, such as difficulty breathing.
  2. Advise your client to put on a face mask if possible, and provide assistance if needed.
  3. Support your client to get tested - either PCR or RAT. If you don’t have access to a RAT, contact your coordinator. Find a testing site here or call the Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) and follow the advice on how to assist the client to get tested.
  4. Contact your client's InLife Coordinator to inform them that the client has symptoms or has tested positive and any actions taken. The coordinator will provide further advice on what you need to do.

InLife has developed a rapid response protocol for our coordinators to follow if a client is suspected of contracting the virus. This includes providing all PPE required to safely care for the client throughout their isolation and making sure all assistants involved are aware of and trained in all procedures.

Providing support for clients in this situation will provide some challenges, and we will work with the client, their families and DHHS on the best way to manage continued service provision. Circumstances will differ from client to client, and we will discuss the process with you prior to any scheduled shifts.

Last checked 3 October 2022

InLife will not force you (or anyone) to work a shift with a client if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. However, we do have a duty as individuals and as a community to ensure the vulnerable among us are supported and cared for. The services InLife provide are critical to ensuring clients receive the support they need, and we hope you will be able to help us provide these services to clients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last checked 3 October 2022

If you or other members of a client’s team work with multiple agencies, you will need to be more vigilant with your social distancing and hygiene measures both during shifts and when you are in the community.

Adhere to the state's current guidelines on facemasks, carrying hand sanitiser for disinfecting hands when you are out, and paying close attention to government restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Last checked 3 October 2022

If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, isolate and get tested as soon as possible with a RAT, or PCR test if you can’t access a RAT. Contact your coordinator if you don't have access to a RAT.

You can find a list of testing sites here or call the Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080 (open 24 hours a day ,7 days a week).

Contact your coordinator as soon as possible to advise them of the situation and they will stay in contact with you. Please forward your test result to your coordinator. You can end your isolation seven days after your positive test date if you are fully vaccinated. You don't need another negative test result before returning to work - completing your isolation period is sufficient.

InLife may also need to make mandatory reports to organisations like Worksafe and the NDIS Commission if our clients or staff test positive.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Exposure and special leave benefits for assistants

Use the government’s COVID-19 checklist to find out if you need to isolate and for how long.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Use this COVID checklist to identify what type of contact you are and if you need to isolate at home.

Last checked 3 October 2022

The federal government’s Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is available.

The $750 lump-sum payment is support for when you can't earn an income because you or someone you're caring for has to isolate due to COVID-19.

You may be eligible for the Victorian government’s Sick Pay Guarantee trial for casual and contract workers in the disability sector. If you’re sick or injured, or caring for immediate family or someone you live with, you can claim up to 38 hours sick leave annually.

You can’t claim both the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment and Sick Pay Guarantee at the same time.

If you’ve contracted COVID-19 as a direct result of your work with InLife, exceptional circumstances may apply. If you have any queries please contact your Coordinator or [email protected] as soon as you can.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Other questions

As per our standard working arrangements, if a client cancels a shift with less than 24 hours’ notice or is not present for you to undertake a rostered shift, then you will be paid for the full length of that shift. If a client cancels a shift and you are notified at least 24 hours in advance of a cancellation the special leave policy will not apply.

We are committed to supporting all our assistants throughout this time, so please contact your coordinator for any specific help you may need. This could include seeing if we can find other work for you, particularly if the client does not require shifts for an extended period of time.

Last checked 3 October 2022

Yes we do. If you would like to see our Covid Safe Plan, you can download it here

Last checked 3 October 2022

The health and wellbeing of all InLife employees is important to us, so please let us know if there is anything specifically you are worried about and we will do our best to help.

Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides counselling support.

Other professional support services that can help dealing with the challenges everyone may face during the pandemic are listed below.

Last checked 3 October 2022

The Department of Home Affairs has a FAQ page that they are keeping up to date with relevant information. You can read more FAQ page.

International student visas

The government has temporarily relaxed the 40 hours/fortnight work limitation for students working in the disability sector for NDIS registered providers, such as InLife. InLife Assistants on international student visas interested in increasing their hours are encouraged to contact their InLife Coordinator. Read more here.

COVID-19 visa

You may be eligible for the Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) - Australian Government endorsed events (COVID-19 Pandemic event).

This temporary visa lets you stay in Australia to work if you're employed in a critical industry sector such as disability support. Read more here.

Working Holiday Makers

Working Holiday Makers can work for InLife for more than 6 months without asking permission from 4 April, 2020 as our work is in a critical sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

Last checked 3 October 2022