The NDIS Review has backed the Australian Services Union’s longstanding call for the introduction of portable leave and training schemes for disability support workers.
In a bid to fix workforce attraction and retention, the Review says the federal government should work with state and territory governments, unions, workers and participants to “urgently” design and trial a portable training scheme, as well as a portable sick and carer’s leave scheme.
ASU NSW & ACT Secretary Angus McFarland welcomes the recommendation.
“We are overjoyed with the NDIS Review’s recommendation to introduce portable leave and training schemes for disability support workers. The ASU has been calling for these initiatives for a long time because we know they will make a huge difference to the lives of workers and people with disability,” Mr McFarland said.
“As the Review rightly points out, workforce challenges in the disability sector are well known and widespread. The NDIS sector has one of the highest attrition rates in Australia. Demand for workers is soaring yet up to a quarter of workers are leaving their job each year because they feel burnt out and unsupported. High workforce turnover is eroding the quality of support and increasing the cost of service delivery.
“Workers have told us they want and deserve better training and better entitlements. Most NDIS workers are part-time or casuals so they aren’t accruing basic leave entitlements, and have limited access to regular accredited training and career development opportunities. We must think outside of the box and introduce these innovative portable leave and training schemes to meet the needs of people with disability now and in the future.
“We thank the NDIS Review for endorsing our campaign to introduce portable leave and training schemes, and thank Minister Bill Shorten for considering this recommendation. We urge the federal government to adopt these portable schemes as soon as possible.
“There’s no time to waste to attract and retain our NDIS workforce. People with disability deserve the best possible support and that can only be achieved through continuity of care from workers who have high morale and gold standard skills.”
Media contact: Sofie Wainwright 0403 920 301