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 (the Australian Services Union and the United Workers Union) and the employer peak-body, National Disability Services (NDS), has filed an 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 reward disability support workers for their essential work and increased responsibilities associated with supporting a person with a disability who may have contracted the virus, including performing enhanced hygiene procedures and using personal protective equipment (PPE).
The NDIS Unions and NDS 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, seeking the Commonwealth Government’s support for the Award variation, along with a commitment to fund the allowance through the NDIS to ensure providers can pay workers the allowance when required.
Quotes attributable to 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.”