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Disability support workers & the classification of their work in the Social, Community, Home Care & Disability Services Industry Award

Fiona Macdonald and Karen Douglas

February 14, 2022

This research is concerned with the pay and working conditions of disability support workers in Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). In the light of evidence of misclassification and underclassification of disability support workers leading to lower pay, poorer conditions and reduced opportunities for progression the report examines: i) the basis for the distinction between disability support workers and home care workers in the Social, Community, Home Care & Disability Services Industry (SCHADS) Award; and ii) contemporary expectations and requirements of disability support workers in the NDIS.

The research draws on Fair Work Commission cases and NDIS quality and safeguarding requirements and disability support pricing arrangements. The report highlights the heightened requirements and expectations of support workers under the NDIS and demonstrates that job and skills requirements are, at a minimum, commensurate with SACS level 2 of the SCHADS Award.

The research was commissioned by the Australian Services Union, the Health Services Union and the United Workers Union. Read the full report here

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