Queensland gets tough on dodgy disability workers

Legislation has been introduced in Queensland to establish a new NDIS worker screening system designed…

Aged care and disability providers have featured in the top ten best places to work in the health category of the recent AFR Best Places to Work awards.

Legislation has been introduced in Queensland to establish a new NDIS worker screening system designed to improve safeguards for people with disability.

Coralee O’Rourke

The new nationally consistent laws, which mean banned workers will be recognised across states and territories, will replace existing worker screening provisions under current state disability laws.

“This bill will strengthen safeguards for people with disability following the rollout of the NDIS,” disability services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said.

“The legislative amendments in this bill will support the implementation of nationally-consistent worker screening for the first time ever.

“The new system for NDIS worker screening means clearances and exclusions will be recognised across all states and territories.”

The legislation will also enable ongoing monitoring of a screened worker’s criminal history at a national level, so if a person commits an offence in another state or territory the Queensland government will know about it.

Other key changes include:

  • Strengthening identity requirements
  • Automatically disqualifying people convicted of sexual offences and offences against vulnerable people
  • A bolstered decision making process about questionable workers
  • The ability to consider a broader range of information if a person poses a risk
  • Five-year clearances

The legislation will also allow Queensland to operate a state disability worker screening system for disability services it continues to fund or deliver, that don’t come under the jurisdiction of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

“This is about making sure the highest levels of safeguards apply and that we are assessing the history of those seeking to work with people with disability as thoroughly as possible,” Ms O’Rourke said.

Read more here: NDIS watchdog criticised by taskforce

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Tags: coralee-o'rourke, disability, ndis,

3 thoughts on “Queensland gets tough on dodgy disability workers

  1. All support workers should be mandated to possess a minimum certificate III in Individual Support. These safety measures are great and very welcomed. Ensuring DSWs fully understand their role, obligations and gain nessacary skills is also a part of the picture that is so far, missing.

  2. All workers should have a cert 111 or higher to be working in the industry. Some companies think because you have a yellow card or blue card you don’t need a cert 111. So not right. Also alot of companies seem to employ friends of friends cause the friend needs a job. So they cut the hrs off the person with the quilfication to give the friend or friends jobs. I worked for a company where this happens all the time. It is disgusting and very sad for the client. Clients form bonds with there care workers.

  3. I agree, workers in this area should have a minimum of a Certificate III in Individual Support but further to this they should go through rigorous psychological testing particularly around Anger Management . They should also have spot inspections without warning every 8 weeks to ensure clients they are working with receive the highest possible care. I understand that this might upset some in the industry who are all about “their rights” but I’m sorry, the rights of person born with intellectual and physical disabilities are higher. The vulnerable people who cannot speak for themselves or remove themselves from harmful situations, must be given higher priority than those that can lie, cheat and run.

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