Community & disability services newsletter

Posted on
October 6, 2022
Social Community and Disability Sector

Your sector update

Merger announced between Possability and Lifestyle Solutions

The boards of Lifestyle Solutions and Possability have recently announced a merger. According to their email, there are no planned changes to services or staffing.
They’ve also indicated that Possability CEO Drew Beswick will be appointed as the new CEO of the merged organisation and that Lifestyle Solutions Chair Tony Pearson will be the new Chair. This arrangement will come into place following a special general meeting of Lifestyle Solutions in October.
HACSU have requested an urgent meeting about this merger to ensure staff conditions and entitlements are secured and find out any impact this could have on staff. One issue we have already raised with management is what this merger will mean for the negotiations that are just commencing for the new Possibility workplace agreement.
If you want more information, please contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032.       

Speak up if there are reoccurring pay issues at your workplace

Workers at one major disability organisation are quite frustrated with the regular errors made with their roster or, more importantly, their wages.
We told the employer that it would not be a major issue if it was a one-off occurrence, but it seems to be happening constantly. This is not on. Usually, there are rules in your staff agreement to deal with issues relating to pay and rosters, and your employer have an obligation to comply with them.
Since we raised this issue with the employer, they’ve replied encouraging the affected staff to reach out to payroll with the details of their issues. They’ve also said they’ll propose to implement a new HR and payroll system to enhance the employee experience.
If you have any specific issues with your pay or roster, contact rostering or payroll in the first instance. If you find your payslip difficult to understand, you can also ask your employer to explain what’s on the payslip.
If you feel payroll are not rectifying the issue, give us a call on 1300 880 032 to chat about it.

Confidentiality in disability

Support workers are often threatened with breaching confidentiality. Workers are told if they discuss anything about their clients with anyone, they will have to face a disciplinary process for breaching the client’s confidentiality. This is often backed up by very strongly worded procedures or policies.
It stands to reason that workers cannot go around talking about their clients’ behaviours and health issues with random people, but the line starts to get a little blurred when it comes to discussing the client with another support worker who works with the same client and also with the client’s family or power of attorney when questioned by them on particular issues.
Support workers are often asked questions or required to provide information about their clients because they deal with their clients every day and are the “go to “people. To protect yourself, perhaps the best bet is to direct those asking to speak to the office or employer in the first instance.
If you are ever called to a meeting due to breach of confidentiality, make sure you contact HACSUassist – we can ensure that you’re not being accused of providing information to someone you have the right to share information with.

You can ask questions about participant funding

Client or participant funding in the disability sector sometimes seems a little confusing to workers, particularly when it comes to the funding for one-on-one support.
It is understandable that individual clients/participants are funded differently depending on their needs and requirements, but how can the level of support for a particular client or participant vary depending on the day of the week?
If a client requires one-on-one support Monday to Friday due to their particular needs or disability, they won’t suddenly lose those attributes that made them eligible for one-on-one funding on the weekend. So if client funding changes on the weekend, support workers would rightly question where the funding goes.
It’s a mystery in the disability sector, but if you do have any concerns about your clients’ funding, you can contact HACSUassist for a talk, and you have the right to contact the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and ask them to look into it, anonymously if need be.

For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email or complete our online contact form

Social Community and Disability Sector