Almost one-third (31%) of nearly 2500 disability support workers surveyed said they wanted to be in a different job in twelve months’ time.

Nearly a third (31%) wanted to leave their jobs because of negative workplace culture, and nearly one quarter (21%) wanted to leave for more pay.

The survey of disability support workers by the unions representing disability workers – ASU, HSU, USU and AWU –  comes on the back of the last week’s report by Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS which found there is a shortfall of 83,000 full time workers and further highlights the Morrison Government’s neglect of the sector and the need to urgently address the serious workforce issue.

Nearly a fifth of respondents (18%) had contracted COVID-19 since November 2021 alone; 44% of whom used their paid leave for their recovery, and a further 28% who had no access to any paid leave or government payments.

40% of respondents were required to undertake RATs in order to work with 15% of those respondents having to source and pay for them.

Many of the issues highlighted by this survey—lack of PPE, access to testing and staff shortages—are the same as those identified by the Disability Royal Commission, which last week released a Statement of Ongoing Concern regarding the impact of the Omicron wave on people with disability.

The union movement is calling on the Morrison Government to urgently secure the tests, PPE and other vital supplies that the sector needs, and address staff shortages by improving pay and conditions for workers.

“Throughout the pandemic people with disability and the workers who support them have been abandoned by the Morrison Government,” HSU National Secretary Lloyd Williams said.

“That the Disability Royal Commission felt it necessary to release a Statement of Ongoing Concern two years after first raising these issues speaks to Morrison Government’s ongoing neglect.”

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