NDIS: Operating Under Outdated Industrial Instruments

Do you have a NDIS Readiness project plan for your Human Resource strategy?

NDIS is rolling out throughout the country, with a full ramp up from 1st July, 2016 for some geographical areas.

The Board and the CEO are ultimately responsible for the overall operations of the organisation including preparing for NDIS. As a consequence, your organisation’s strategic planning process would have identified Human Resources as a key risk especially if you are operating under outdated industrial instruments.

Here’s what we also know:

  • The funding model from NDIS is based on salary costs for face-to face support aligned to level 2 of the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services (SCHADS) Award 2010. Aspects such as public holiday funding, staff absences are not factored into the NDIS funding model.

  • Many service providers still have in existence EA’s that to expired in 2008 or 2009, but in the absence of a new enterprise agreement being struck, these existing agreements still apply. Some of the old agreements provide far greater pay rates and leave entitlements, such as 6 week’s annual leave, 15 days personal and carers leave and more beneficial long service leave by comparison to the SCHADS Award.

  • The old agreements also offer some flexibility in terms of setting shifts and breaks between shifts not seen in the SCHADS Awards.

  • Some of your competitors are already ahead of the game in regards to reviewing staff costs and preparation for NDIS, and are working towards striking a new EA, or can apply SCHADS.

  • Fair Work Commission has commenced a review of the SCHADS Award, with submissions from all parties made, and “reply submissions” due this month. A full bench hearing is scheduled for later in the year.

From our discussions with a representative within the NDIS, we have been advised that they have the view that organisations should not wait for an outcome of the review of the modern award at FairWork but work towards NDIS readiness by managing the people and organisation changes needed as part of their planning of sustainable changes in the industry.

From our conversations with Disability providers, there seems to be a delay in ramping up NDIS readiness, particularly in relation to the industrial frameworks that apply to them.

Are you waiting to find out what the changes might be after the review of the modern award is finalised?

For some organisations facing NDIS transition this year, it will be too late. So we ask: Do you have a NDIS Readiness project plan for your Human Resource strategy? For example:

  • Review and implement organisational structural changes where required to ensure it will support competitiveness

  • Develop strategies and identify what your workforce plan should look like when NDIS hits. Will you have the right resources in place, at the right time, at the right cost?

  • Develop resource plans that take into account short term pressure to grow staff numbers to respond to growth in demand for services while consider long term resource and staff costing requirements. This may include re-negotiating a new E A to ensure you maintain and strengthen your key competitive advantage in a sustainable way.

  • Review existing awards and existing industrial instruments to identify where there are commitments to costs not covered by the funding model put out by NDIS.

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of people costs involved in the delivery of existing services.

  • Develop a pricing model and cost base that is sustainable against the funding model from NDIS.

Do not wait to get your financially modelling totally complete before you commence you work force planning, the two processes should be run concurrently.

Should require support or want to discuss any of these issues please, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

WorkPlacePLUS is the “Preferred Human Resource and Employee Relations Provider” for Speech Pathology Australia.

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