The Health Services Union (HSU) has filed for a COVID-19 Care Allowance for disability support workers in an application to the Fair Work Commission.
The HSU, along with other NDIS Unions (HSU, the Australian Services Union and the United Workers Union) and the employer peak-body, National Disability Services (NDS), filed the application to vary the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 to insert the allowance.
The COVID-19 Care Allowance aims to compensate disability support workers for the increased responsibilities associated with working with clients who may have contracted the virus, including performing enhanced hygiene procedures and using personal protective equipment (PPE).
The NDIS Unions and NDS are seeking the Commonwealth Government’s formal written support for this Award variation, along with supplying the necessary funding via the NDIA to ensure providers can pay workers the allowance when required.
The NDIS Unions have written to Attorney-General and Federal Minister for Industrial Relations, the Hon. Christian Porter and Federal Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Hon. Stuart Robert to request their support.
As noted by Lloyd Williams, National Secretary, Health Services Union
“We know this is an incredibly anxious time for both NDIS participants and our members who support them.”
“Our members provide essential supports and services to their clients and we want to ensure they can continue to do that throughout the duration of this pandemic.”
“We call on the Federal Government to act immediately to provide this important workforce entitlement and the subsequent funding to ensure that people with disability are able to continue to safely access services.”
“The additional support will go a long way to alleviating some the concerns of participants, the sector and the front-line work force.”