HACSU's national body – the HSU – recently lodged a submission about the draft NDIS Code of Conduct. Here are a few of our recommendations:
- Separate Codes be developed for providers, paid workers and volunteers, which reflect the different roles and responsibilities of these distinct cohorts.
- Workers, providers and advocates are consulted to build a robust system that ensures the principles in the Code and other elements of the Quality and Safeguarding Framework are communicated in a reasonable, fair and timely manner to all affected stakeholders.
- If the Code is to apply to unregistered NDIS providers and their employees that self-managing participants are obligated to notify the provider or worker they engage that they are purchasing services with their NDIS package.
- The principle of freedom from discrimination in employment not be diminished in the course of upholding the individual rights of people with disabilities.
- The Quality and Safeguards Commission consider the cost ramifications of orders to improve training, staffing levels and other associated business costs when making a binding direction under the Code. Where there is a substantial increase in costs as a consequence of binding directions, the Commission must be authorized to seek an expedited plan review for affected participants.
- Protections be embedded into the Code to clarify that workers who are expected to maintain currency of mandatory training (e.g., first aid, CPR, etc.) will have that training paid for them by their employer in paid-time.
- Mandatory reporting requirements be implemented alongside meaningful whistleblower protections for individual workers, with serious penalties for providers subverting these protections. Further safeguards also need to be in place to protect workers from vexatious complaints and which uphold the principles of natural justice in any subsequent investigation.
- Further clarification about insurance be included in the Code for workers engaged in direct employment.
Download our whole submission here.