Media statement: Working from home arrangements during COVID-19

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and its employees continue to comply with all applicable public health orders in the relevant state or territory. The ACIC provides discretion to national managers (SES Band 1) and executive directors (SES Band 2) to implement flexible local working arrangements in each ACIC office, considering the individual circumstances of staff.

This arrangement ensures the ACIC continues to deliver on its operational requirements, while providing flexibility for individual staff and managers to implement flexible working arrangements with staff who may have health-related vulnerabilities, or other specific concerns.

This position is consistent with the latest Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) advice, providing agency heads the discretion to implement working arrangements for their agency.

Flexibility, including the ability to work from home, continues to be available to employees in line with operational requirements. Other local arrangements that may be implemented include:

  • employees working from home full-time where appropriate
  • employees working from home certain days each week
  • introduction of roster arrangements
  • introduction of split shifts, or flexible working times for employees.

As an operational intelligence agency, many of the roles and functions of the ACIC are not able to be performed from home. This includes many roles which have access to sensitive information or require staff to interact with the Australian community.

The ACIC has undertaken a number of risk assessments throughout the pandemic which have informed the working arrangements for staff. The ACIC continuously monitors the current environment, updates its risk assessments and takes steps to ensure a safe workplace for all employees.

The ACIC performs an important public function and places the utmost importance on strict adherence to its safety obligations. The ACIC provides a COVID-safe workplace for all employees in compliance with all state and territory public health orders. This includes indoor density restrictions, mask wearing and physical distancing. In addition, the ACIC:

  • requires all staff without a CEO exemption, secondees, contractors and visitors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • requires staff to wear masks in the office in accordance with state and territory public health orders
  • ensures all staff practice social distancing while in the office, and abide by density limits
  • requires all staff to swipe their pass on entry and exit, ensuring an accurate record of all staff in the office at any one time
  • provides all staff with hand sanitiser, and disinfectant to wipe down desks, phones and meeting rooms after use
  • advises staff not to attend the workplace if they are unwell or displaying any COVID-19 symptoms
  • provides staff regular COVID-19 information, updates and resources, including after-hours support
  • provides staff appropriate paid leave to get tested and isolate as required, in accordance with the latest APSC advice.

The ACIC has a number of forums to ensure staff are able to raise issues or concerns. This includes local consultative committees in each office, the national consultative committee and a national work, health and safety committee. In addition, staff may discuss their personal circumstances with their immediate managers in order to implement local working arrangements which considers their individual circumstances. 

All staff also have access to the latest COVID-19 information through the ACIC COVID-19 intranet page, a COVID-19 inbox and after-hours support via a dedicated COVID-19 hotline number. This provides staff the opportunity to ask questions or raise any concerns that they aren’t able to resolve with their immediate supervisor.

Nicole Mayo
Chief Operating Officer
Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission