NDIS Services Blog

Overview Of Briefing & Hiring Your Own Disability Support Workers

The purpose of the document is to provide you with general & necessary information about the considerations that may be relevant for employing your own disability support worker staff.

As a participant of NDIS, when you are considering employing your NDIS support staff directly, you are the same as many people all across the country do when they hire a housekeeper, baby sitter, gardener of any other employee. Direct employment of disability support worker may impart you the ultimate of control over the workers who work for you, the number of hours they work, and jobs that they perform. Direct employment option is available only under the self manage NDIS funding.

Hiring your own NDIS disability support workers staff may involve a bit of work. This process is exciting but also challenging at the same time. A support worker is a professional whom you pay for helping you to do all your disability-related requirements. However, a carer is someone you don’t pay at all, and in the majority of cases, they are usually either your family member or friend.

Hiring your own staff is a bit daunting task but, in the end, it provides you with the high-end flexibility with several hours. Also, you will gain a chance to negotiate with rates & hours. This would be especially beneficial when you are hiring the NDIS support worker during weekends or public holidays (the support catalogues cost is much higher during these times). Also, a decision needs to be taken about the mode of payment. It is more flexible to hire someone you know already (except family members) or who lives near your place. The number of hours you require the workers varies. There are many agencies that are having an NDIS disability support worker with minimum service times. Before you decide to hire someone, just identify all your individual needs. You must do this despite the fact, whether you already have someone in your mind or need to find someone. After interviewing & hiring a disability support worker, it is always a good idea to sign an agreement with them.


A written service agreement with NDIS disability support workers What all to be included in a written service agreement with disability support worker?

Let’s have a look at what all you might include in the information & also written agreement to be signed with your support worker.

  • Work expectations- what all the work to be done includes.
  • Trial employment or probation period till you review or decide to keep support worker.
  • Is there any minimum shift needs?
  • Communication, How, and by what all modes you will be communicating with your support worker, phone, email, message, text, or communication book. Does their mobile phone always have the credit, or can they utilize Wi-Fi at your premises? Is it fine to answer all your calls or texts while they are working?
  • House job- what all are your expectations for housekeeping, cleaning or cooking, etc
  • Use of equipment- Can workers themselves find out what is there in the refrigerator?
  • Medical requirements about you/ your child & developing an action plan.
  • Professional boundaries/ privacy- to what extent you & your family value their privacy. What are your expectations from the support worker regarding privacy issues?
  • How the work will be debriefed once a tough shift is over- do they employ a support network or mentor to help in difficult times?
  • Attire, how you want the support worker to dress up?
  • Ongoing training/ learning, what ongoing trainings & learning you expect from the worker, who is going to pay, how much is time to train and cost involved?
  • Cancellation notice- what is the provision for cancellation of shift.
  • Beliefs & value, in case there are certain beliefs or cultural values that are eminent to you, ensure you know what this means to you along with your NDIS support worker.


Things To Consider While Setting Up Yourself As An Employer

There are many things to take into consideration while employing your own NDIS support worker. Here is a list of few things to consider:

  • Have you factored upon the ongoing training cost for the support worker or you expect them to pay on their own? What will happen in the case of the work cover claim?
  • Is there any backup individual who can do payroll on your behalf in case you are not able to?
  • Do you wish to hire any agency or broker for managing payroll, looking after your taxes, super & insurance obligations? Under this provision, even if you are unwell or away, the NDIS support workers will still be taken care of. In case your NDIS plan is self-managed, the management fees can actually be paid through core support.

What To Do If Things Go Wrong?

  • If your disability support worker is not doing a good job as you would like, then first of the thing you can do is to speak directly to the employee. You might want either your family or friend to be with you during this time. Let disability support worker know about all your expectations clearly and what all you require from them as well. Review the signed service agreement again together.
  • If the NDIS disability support worker is not keeping all your affairs private then you might need to talk to them and let them know clearly that privacy is extremely eminent to you.
  • When your NDIS disability support worker is abusive/ dangerous to you or child, then it is extremely crucial for you to stop their shifts immediately and report to police authorities, even when they have already stopped abusing. In such a situation, when you require other support staff urgently and don’t know anyone, then it might be an extremely good idea to contact to the large support worker agency for assisting you out to fill out all the gaps, till the time you find another worker for employment.
  • If payment of your bills is not made on time by NDIS, then you are required to personally contact the local LAC/support coordinator or you can write an email to feedback@ndis.gov.au and ask for immediate action & support. When you are self-managing NDIS plan, then with permission the claims can be made prior to a week in advance. Thus it is also a good idea to stay at the latest week ahead with the claims for covering up those times when your internet connection is not working properly or the NDIS web portal is not working as it should.

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