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Policy News
29/10/2019
Policy News

New SDA Design Standard released

New SDA Design Standard guidelines released, along with the SDA Innovation Plan and Limited Cost Assumptions Review; and the SDA Price Guide has been updated
Policy News
25/10/2019
Policy News

Guidance Note released on eligibility for the Portable Long Service Scheme

The Portable Long Service Authority released a Guidance Note for employers registered in the community services sector under the Portable Long Service Scheme.
Policy News
18/10/2019
Policy News

NDS Submission to the NSW Disability Advocacy Review

The Ageing and Disability Commission review into NSW Disability Advocacy will close today, 18 October 2019. NDS's submission calls for ongoing State funding.

Guidance Note released on eligibility for the Portable Long Service Scheme

A person in business attire holding a thick pile of papers.

25/10/2019

I need to know this because:
  • The Guidance Note aims to help assess whether employees of registered employers are considered ‘workers’ in the community services sector via predominance test
  • The approach to the predominance test should be as broad as the wording of regulation 9(3) of the Regulations allows
  • The scope of the predominance test encompasses employees who provide front-line services and those who support them at an organisational level
  • The Portable Long Service Authority has also developed videos to assist businesses with completing their first quarterly return, available on their website.

Providers should be aware that the Portable Long Service Authority (the Authority) has released a Guidance Note for employers registered in the community services sector under the Portable Long Service Scheme (the Scheme). 

Issued on 16 October 2019, this Guidance Note aims to assist registered employers of the Scheme to assess whether individual employees of registered employers are considered ‘workers’ in the community services sector through the use of a predominance test. 

The Guidance Note focusses on the scope of the predominance test in practice and how to interpret regulation 9(3) of the Regulations, which dictates that a ‘person is only a community services employee if the predominant activity of the individual’s substantive role is the personal delivery of services or the personal performance of community service activities’.

The Authority advise that the approach to the predominance test should be as broad as the wording of regulation 9(3) of the Regulations allows, and that regulation 9(3) of the Regulations should be applied at the organisational level rather than simply at the occupational level of the individual employee. 

That is, the scope of the predominance test in its application encompasses not only employees who provide front-line services, but also employees who, at an organisational level, support those who deliver front-line services. Job title alone is not determinative of eligibility for the scheme; it is necessary to assess case by case the work that the employee is performing for the organisation. 

Appendix 1 of the Guidance Note offers a general overview of the Portable Long Service Scheme and Appendix 2 provides a technical overview of the community services sector, addressing what is and is not considered community services work for the purposes of the Act, who is and is not considered to be a community services employer, and who is and is not considered to be an employee for the community services sector. For more information you can view the Guidance Note here.

The Portable Long Service Authority has also developed videos to assist businesses with completing their first quarterly return. The videos, available on the Authority’s quarterly returns page, provide instructions for manually adding workers, and bulk addition of workers using a specialised Excel spreadsheet. If there’s a topic you’d like to know more about, email the Authority at . Please also note the Portable Long Service Authority has a website and helpline (1800 517 158).

In determining whether an organisation and their employees are covered by the Scheme, providers are encouraged to contact the Authority, as well as consult the legislation and regulations. NDS notes that the regulations are to be revoked and remade; in the intervening period draft interim regulations will come into force. These will be made available on the Portable Long Service Authority website.

Additional NDS Portable Long Service Information Session

Due to demand, NDS will now be hosting an additional disability-specific information session with the Authority for disability service providers:
Date: Tuesday 3rd December 2019
Time: 11:00am – 1.30pm
Location: NDS Boardroom, Level 3, 369 Royal Parade, Parkville VIC 3052
Eventbrite link

Contact information
Cassidy Livingstone, Sector Development Coordinator, NDIS & Zero Tolerance Initiative, 03 8341 4337,