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NDS OHS Advisory Group

Event start date: 26/09/2023
NDS OHS Advisory Group meetings are open to NDS members and associates interested in occupational health and safety issues and solutions in the disability sector.

Right on Board – Practice Governance for Disability Service Providers: Governing and Managing for Human Rights, Quality and Safeguarding - Online Series

Event start date: 26/09/2023
Right on Board answers the need as highlighted by the Disability Royal Commission for greater awareness of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Heart of Courageous Leadership - Adelaide

Event start date: 27/09/2023
NDS is partnering with leadership expert, Maria Brett, to provide leadership development for leaders at all levels in the Disability Sector in South Australia.

Related events

New data projects “unconscionable” closure of disability services

A mass exodus of disability providers is on the horizon, as rising costs make it virtually impossible for many to continue their services, according to new data.

All presentations of NDP’s Workforce Virtual Conference 2023 are available on demand

Our on-demand viewing pass gives you entry to all the presentations, exhibitors and resources until 21 September.

Dr Jordan Nguyen to deliver keynote at 2023 Disability at Work Conference

The renowned Australian biomedical engineer and author will speak on the Future of Inclusive Technology in Canberra on 12 July.

Seeking your feedback on Victorian Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme

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What you need to know

  • The Victorian Government is reviewing the Victorian Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme.
  • The terms of reference include a review of the scope of the scheme, user experience with the scheme, and whether any regulatory or legislative amendments are required to meet its original purpose.
  • NDS is developing a submission and would like your comments.
  • The Portable Long Service Authority has responded to NDS with further clarification about the scope of the Scheme as it applies to disability services.

The Victorian Long Service Benefits Scheme allows workers in disability services and other sectors to accrue long service entitlements and transfer them from job to job. 

In our initial consultation with service providers, we received feedback that the scheme is costly and perceived to have little benefit to organisations and their capacity to retain workers. Feedback from providers also indicated that the scheme is administratively burdensome, difficult to navigate for employers, and not user-friendly for employees.  

We also identified a lack of clarity around the scope and applicability of the scheme within disability organisations, with confusion around whether senior executives and supported employees are covered by the scheme.  

Three years into the scheme, Industrial Relations Victoria are conducting a review and members are free to make a submission on their website. The terms of reference include reviewing the scope of the scheme, the user experience, and whether any regulatory or legislative amendments are required to meet its original purpose. 

NDS is developing its own submission and would like your comments. 

Recently, to assist employers in the disability sector to better understand their obligations under the scheme, NDS sought clarification from the Portable Long Service Authority. The authority has admitted that some of their messaging and information may have resulted in under-registration for the scheme, with a correction posted in the authority’s e-newsletter in March of 2021.  

The Portable Long Service Authority has now clarified that workers under the Supported Wage System are covered by the Supported Employment Services Award 2020.  

Workers covered by one of the following five awards are considered to be employed under that award even if an enterprise agreement exists in the workplace.  

  • Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 
  • Children’s Services Award 2010 
  • Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010 
  • Labour Market Assistance Industry Award 2020 
  • Supported Employment Services Award 2020 

The Authority notes ‘the awards are very broad and cover most workers in the sector, including clerks, administrative and managerial staff, and support workers.’ 

Furthermore, workers on an individual agreement common law contract or employed under the National Employment Standards are still eligible if one of the community services sector awards covers them.  

The updated information and factsheets on the authority website give more clarity on the coverage within community services. More information is being developed for specific issues within the disability services industry. Where under-registration may have occurred, the authority will work directly with service providers, so all workers can receive their entitlements and for employers to meet their obligations without penalty. 

This information will inform our submission to the enquiry, but we will also need your experience with the scheme. Please send any feedback to our Senior Policy and Project Officer Workforce Lourdes Zamanillo by 21 April. 

Contact information

For any enquiries, please contact Lourdes Zamanillo, Senior Policy and Project Officer Workforce, submit enquiry/feedback, show phone number