Skip to content
Disability, Union

Wage theft becoming widespread in the NDIS, union says

ASU NSW & ACT 2 mins read

Wage theft has become so common within the NDIS it could be described as a standard business model for many providers, according to the Australian Services Union NSW & ACT.


The union is calling on the Federal Government to urgently stamp out rampant wage theft of disability support workers as it actively investigates more than 30 providers over alleged wage theft and fraud in NSW alone. 

 

This month, the union has referred two providers to the NDIS Commission, the NDIA, and the Fair Work Ombudsman, for further probing as part of its investigations.

 

The NDIA’s own wage benchmarking report shows 10 percent of providers are even self-reporting that they are paying disability support workers below the minimum hourly rate required by the relevant Award.

 

“Wage theft in the disability support sector is rampant. It’s bad for workers and is ripping off people with disability at the same time,” ASU NSW & ACT Secretary Angus McFarland said.

 

“Wage theft undermines efforts to attract and retain workers in an industry plagued by high staff turnover. Without a robust workforce, NDIS participants are left without the vital support they need. 

 

“It’s criminal to underpay staff - it’s even worse during a cost of living crisis. Next month, disability support workers on minimum award wages will be entitled to a 5.75 per cent pay rise thanks to the Fair Work Commission. I question whether the full benefit will be passed on to all workers if greedy providers continue underpaying our essential workers. 

 

“There’s only so much we can do as a union to hold dodgy providers to account. Seeking justice through the courts is lengthy and workers are often reluctant, fearing they will lose their jobs in such a highly casualised sector.

 

“It’s encouraging to see the Federal Government is committed to cracking down on fraud in the NDIS. Wage suppression must be prioritised as part of this process. We need to prevent and catch cases of underpayment as soon as possible before providers flee the country, fold or embed this practice in their business models. 

 

“Equal pay rates have been properly funded in the NDIS, so wage theft should be treated as a compliance issue. We are calling for a reformed system that enforces upfront requirements for providers to pass on the correct wages to workers.”

 

This week, NDIS workers will rally across parts of NSW calling for solutions to improve conditions and address workforce shortages, including by stamping out underpayments and adopting portable leave and training schemes.

 

Media contact: Sofie Wainwright 0403 920 301 

More from this category

  • Culturally and linguistically diverse, Disability
  • 24/05/2024
  • 14:19
SydWest Multicultural Services

SydWest recognises selfless volunteers during Volunteer Week

Two hours every week at Blacktown, Bashir Faiz can be found in the passenger seat of the SydWest Multicultural Services Learner Driver car, patiently…

  • Contains:
  • Disability, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 24/05/2024
  • 07:28
Developing Australian Communities

MEDIA CALL 9:30AM Minister Kate Washington Opening NSW Largest Disability and NDIS Event – ICC Sydney Hall 6, Level 4

IMMEDIATE MORNING MEDIA CALL TODAY 9:30AM - ICC Sydney Hall 6 Inside Hall 930am - Minster Kate Washington Official Opening to Camera at Stage to Crowd of Providers - Media Opportunity, Inside Hall 6 at Centre Stage, Level 4 9:55am Door stop Ribbon Pull Opening - Short Opening to Camera at Door of Hall 6, Level 4 Minister Kate Washington Developing Australian Communities Co-founders Mr River Night and Mr Mike Clark ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy Event name: Sydney Disability Connection Expo, sponsored by Easy Healthcare Event Details and Link https://developingauscommunities.com.au/sydney-expo-2024-visitor/ Venue Link for Address and details https://iccsydney.com.au/ Minister WILL…

  • Disability
  • 23/05/2024
  • 13:45
Northcott

Inclusive short film addressing sexting for young adults with intellectual disability premieres on Friday 24 May.

Peaches and Cream, a ground-breaking new short film created by people with disability premieres this Friday 24 May with the message that everyone, including those with disability, has the right to access information about sexting and online safety. Liz Forsyth, CEO of Northcott said the film came about in response to a need to provide more accessible resources. The film aims to assist young adults with intellectual disability in making informed decisions regarding online communication, particularly in adhering to state laws regarding the sharing of explicit images or messages. Peaches and Cream features diverse talents including actors living with disability…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.